University of Kentucky receives donation for new institute

University of Kentucky receives donation for new institute

Jim Beam: a statue of a wildcat perched on a rock
Photo by Austin Johnson/Ace

The University of Kentucky has just been donated a large sum to create a new institute. Who made the donation? How much? What will the donation go towards?

building that says Jim Beam
Photo courtesy of Jim Beam social media

The bourbon distillery, Jim Beam, plans to donate $5 million to the University of Kentucky so they can create a new institute that is designed to teach the next generation of distillers. To give these men and women the skills they need to succeed in the industry.

“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…,” UK President, Eli Capilouto, said in a news release.

It will be named the James B. Beam Institute of Kentucky Spirits and it will educate students at the levels of undergraduate, graduate, and professional.

In the history of the Beam Suntory, this is the largest donation ever made for educational purposes. With this donation, the institute will offer classes that will cover a variety of subjects like chemistry, engineering, and food science. They’ll learn about researches made for the spirits industry that deal with development and sustainable agriculture.

“With the continued global growth of bourbon, we need to focus on education the next generation of distillers, scientists and engineers who can tackle the needs of this industry well into the future,” Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s seventh-generation master distiller, said in the news release. “And there’s no better place to make bourbon than right here in Kentucky.”

Jim Beam: a statue of a wildcat perched on a rock
Photo by Austin Johnson/Ace

UK already offers a distillation certificate, a wine and brewing studies, and is about to launch an online class of the initiative in the fall.

With the announcement, Kentucky Distillers’ Association President, Eric Gregor, indicated that there may be more partnerships with commonwealth institutions of higher education. “In the coming months, we look forward to sharing details of an impressive statewide initiative that will leverage many of our universities’ strengths and prepare the workforce of tomorrow for careers in bourbon hospitality, business, and tourism, in addition to distillation and research and development,” he said.

Over the past 10 years, the bourbon industry in Kentucky has experienced a rapid growth of 258%, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. With increase in demand, it has also brought growth of 20,000 new jobs.

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