LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Now News) — Students at the University of Kentucky will now have the opportunity to learn how to succeed in the distilled spirits industry thanks to a donation from Jim Beam Bourbon.
Jim Beam Bourbon announced that they will donate $5 million to UK to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits.
“As the University for Kentucky, we are the engine of our state’s industry — the pulse of its economy,” said University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto in a UK News story. “When we envisioned ways to prepare our workforce to meet the changing needs of our rapidly growing bourbon industry, a partnership with Jim Beam was a natural fit, and I can’t thank them enough for the generous gift that will help bring our vision to life. Together, as the commonwealth’s indispensable institution and the world’s No. 1-selling bourbon, we’re inspired by the common goal of maintaining the welfare, prosperity, and sustainability of Kentucky’s spirits industry for generations to come.”
Officials say the institute will be led by the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, and will offer courses in engineering, chemistry, business, law, horticulture, forestry, food science and entomology. The courses will address the distilled spirits industry in topics including sustainable agriculture, research, and development, according to UK.
The institute will establish a curriculum that covers skills at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.
The bourbon industry contributes $8.6 billion to Kentucky’s economy each year and also provides more than 20,000 jobs in the state.
In 2014, UK started a certificate program in distillation, wine and brewing studies. They are set to launch an online version of this certificate in fall 2019.