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Wine Business Institute Announces Annual Scholarship Winners for 2018

Over $40,000 in Financial Aid Offered to Undergraduate and Master's Students in Wine Business Across Eight Scholarships
by Press Release
May 21, 2018

2018 wine business scholarship winners pictured left to right:
Alexandra O'Gorman, Mark Harris, Deanna Brown, Soleil Druilhet, Gerald (Spencer) Cole.
Photo available for editorial use.

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University today announced the Spring 2018 winners of the annual academic scholarships in wine business, including $41,500 awarded to students in the Sonoma MBA and EMBA in Wine Business programs and bachelor’s degree concentration in Wine Business Strategies. The annual scholarships support students’ wine industry career development and educational accomplishment by offsetting costs associated with tuition, books, fees, housing, and other expenses.
"Scholarships help shape career paths by providing resources that students need for success,” Interim Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Dr. Karen Thompson, said. “We're grateful to the benefactors whose vision and compassion is helping guide the next generation of leaders toward academic, career, and life success. There's no greater gift than having our alumni and donor community help drive the growth of wine business education for the future of the wine industry and its communities.”

The following students were recognized during a May 14 scholarship awards luncheon with scholarship donors and WBI Board Members:

Simone Popov ’19 (expected), Sonoma MBA in Wine Business, The Donn P. Reisen Scholarship

Alexandra O'Gorman ’19 (expected), Sonoma MBA in Wine Business, The Donn P. Reisen Scholarship and Vintage Wine Estates MBA Scholarship

Mark Harris ’19 (expected), Sonoma MBA in Wine Business, Charlie Palmer’s Pigs & Pinot Annual Scholarship

Deanna Brown ’19 (expected), B.S., Concentration in Wine Business Strategies, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Wine Business Scholarship

Gerald Cole ’19 (expected), Sonoma EMBA in Wine Business, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Wine Business Scholarship

Soleil Druilhet ’19 (expected), B.S., concentration in Wine Business Strategies ’19 (expected), The Liz Thach Wine Industry Scholarship

Jialing Li ’19 (expected), Sonoma MBA in Wine Business, La Tosh Wine Scholarship

Wine business scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 academic year will be available in November 2018. The annual scholarships are in addition to more than $240,000 in scholarships and grants awarded through the Wine Industry Scholars Program, an initiative dedicated to providing access to higher education for children and family members of vineyard and winery workers.

For more information about scholarships in wine business, or for information regarding wine business degrees and programs, please call (707) 664-3235, email, or visit

About the Wine Business Institute

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first U.S. institution of higher learning to offer programs and degrees specializing in the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. On May 29, 2018, WBI will open the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000-square-foot education complex dedicated to training the next generation of leaders for a changing global wine industry. With its unique location, expert faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, WBI attracts current and future professionals from California and around the world to experience the expertise and wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.

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