Elder J. Willard Marriott Jr., president and chair of Marriott International, and Richard E. Marriott, chair of Host Hotels and Resorts, joined other church leaders, campus officials, faculty, and members of the National Advisory Council 25 April 2007 to break ground for a significant addition to the N. Eldon Tanner Building.
The groundbreaking ceremony was conducted by President Cecil O. Samuelson with Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, a member of the Seventy and commissioner of Church Education, presiding over activities. More than five hundred invited guests attended the event, including many members of the Marriott and Tanner families.
The new structure will be a four-story, 76,000 square-foot addition connected to the existing building by a glass atrium. The addition will contain tiered classrooms, open study space, group study rooms, faculty and administrative offices, MBA program offices, conference rooms, a computer network teaching room, a large lecture hall, and a New York-style deli. The project also includes a three-level, open-air parking structure to be constructed directly north of the existing building. Both the addition and parking structure are expected to be completed by the end of August 2008.
The existing Tanner Building was completed in late 1982 and dedicated on 5 April 1983 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. The new facility will be used to meet the growing demands of the Marriott School and the campus community.
“My father was always anxious to provide opportunities for other young people to get an education as he did,” said J. Willard Marriott Jr. “This is why Dick and I continue to direct our father and mother’s foundation to invest so heavily in education, especially here at Brigham Young University.”
Funding for the project has come entirely from private contributions beginning with a sizeable gift from the Marriott family foundation, a large gift from the N. Eldon Tanner Trust, and contributions from the school’s National Advisory Council, faculty, staff, and alumni.
“I don’t think any educational institution sponsored by the LDS church has a greater affect on a student’s ability to be successful in life, in their community, and in the church than does the Marriott School of Business,” said Richard Marriott. “The skills taught here—or more importantly the values learned here—will be tremendously instrumental in these young people’s success in life.”
President Samuelson said, “I recognize that as much as students will be taught from books and interesting lectures, they will learn of faith, industry, integrity, and service to the world and to each other from the lives of President Tanner and J. Willard Marriott.” He continued, “This groundbreaking is a remarkable thing that has come of tremendous vision, effort, commitment, and sacrifice. We cannot overly emphasize the significance of not only the big gifts but also, as Dean Hill mentioned the widow’s mite, if you will, of those who have made great sacrifices. We thank you and pray heaven’s blessings upon you and upon this project.”