Meet the Marriott School Pioneers

In honor of Pioneer Day, peruse the legacies of some Marriott School pioneers—faculty, alumni, and friends who established a heritage of success and broke new ground in their fields.

1. J Willard Marriott and his family gave BYU’s business school its name and legacy, providing students an ethical, entrepreneurial role model for years to come. Check out a commencement address given by J. Willard Marriott Jr. in 2010 or read the family story in his own words.

2. Connie Gerrard, a 1963 business education graduate, traveled the world and kept the nation’s press informed while serving as executive assistant to the presidential press secretary under five presidents. The New York Times profiled her in 1988.

3. MBA student Essie N. Anno pioneered new ground studying at BYU’s business school in 1988. Today she serves as managing director of a joint venture providing helicopter services to the oil industry in West Africa.

4. Steve Gandola, a 1991 MBA grad, brought marketing at Kodak into the digital age as marketing manager.

5. In 1998 the Marriott School’s MPA program was renamed after George Romney to honor his dedication to public service. Read more about George Romney in an address by his son, Mitt, and in a Marriott Alumni Magazine feature marking 100 years since his birth.

6. Accounting 200 legend Norm Nemrow championed a flipped-classroom approach to education, creating a series of (in)famous lecture videos still used at the Marriott School and beyond to teach accounting basics.

7. Stephen R. Covey’s bestselling 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was named the No. 1 most influential business book of the twentieth century. Covey taught at the BYU School of Management and helped found the organizational behavior department.

8. Kent Andersen, 2001 MBA alum, brought fine dining to his alma mater’s home turf as owner and executive chef of Chef’s Table in Orem, Utah.

9. In 2004 MBA alum Kevin Rollins took the reins of Dell after working directly with the company’s founder for years to establish Dell as the world’s largest PC manufacturer. The Marriott’s School Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology carries the name of Rollins and his wife, Debra.

10. After publishing Multipliers, a bestselling book on talent management, Liz Wiseman was named to the 2013 Thinkers50 list. She left her position as a VP at Oracle to found the Wiseman Group, a leadership research institute.