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The founders of Domaine Serene make the largest gift in support of wine studies in state history

MCMINNVILLE -- Domaine Serene Winery founders Grace and Ken Evenstad have pledged $6 million to Linfield College to significantly expand its wine education program.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Grace and Ken Evenstad have pledged $6 million to Linfield College to significantly expand the school's wine education program.

It is the largest gift in support of wine education in Oregon history and also one of the largest donations in the history of the school, which already offers the first interdisciplinary liberal arts bachelor's degree in wine studies in the United States.

The gift will endow the Grace and Ken Evenstad Center for Wine Education and an endowed faculty position, the Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies. It will also fund the design and construction of the Evenstad Wine Laboratory as part of a new science building under development on the college campus.

Traditional viticulture and enology programs focus primarily or exclusively on the craft of growing grapes and making wine. In contrast, the Grace and Ken Evenstad Center for Wine Education will include a wine studies degree that incorporates the historical, geographical and environmental aspects of growing grapes and the making, bottling and selling of wine, as well as coursework on sensory-evaluation techniques and industry-specific communication issues.

"Ken and I were drawn to the fact that this new and unique program will focus on all aspects of running a successful and sustainable wine business," Grace Evenstad said. "In our opinion, the real benefit is that it focuses on building a high level of quality throughout the entire business of wine — in winemaking, management, accounting, sales, marketing, etc. This gift will enable thousands of future students to follow their passions in the wine business. It will prepare them for success and will enable the American wine industry to benefit for generations, even centuries, to come."

Linfield offers a wine studies minor that can be paired with other academic programs and is home to the Oregon Wine History Archive.

The Center for Wine Education also offers wine management and wine marketing certificates online, holds a wine lecture series, provides a summer Wine Industry Immersion Program and hosts the International Pinot Noir Celebration each summer.

"This tremendous gift is not only a boon to Linfield College, it's a major investment in the future of wine education in our state," Linfield College President Thomas Hellie said. "We are deeply grateful to Grace and Ken for this important gift — and we're proud of their faith in Linfield's wine education program."

Climatologist Gregory V. Jones, who became director of the Center for Wine Education in 2017, will become the first to hold the title of Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies.

The partnership between Domaine Serene and Linfield is already underway, with on-site educational programs hosted by the winery and a January study-abroad trip for Linfield students that included a visit the Evenstad's French winery, Château de la Crée in Burgundy.

The Evenstads founded Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills in 1989 and own 950 total acres of land in the hills of Yamhill County, with 287 acres planted to vine.

"From the first day that we set foot in the Dundee Hills, we have been on a never-ending quest to grow and produce the finest pinot noir and chardonnay in the world," Ken Evenstad said. "By making this donation to Linfield College, we are investing in the future thought leaders of the global wine industry. With this partnership, it is our hope that the newly endowed wine studies program acts as a magnet to attract the brightest minds from around the world to further propel our industry to even greater heights on the world's stage."

Business briefs

Goodwill Industries job fair set for May 17

Goodwill Industries' Job Connection will hold a multi-employer job fair from noon to 3 p.m. May 17 at Chehalem Park and Recreation District Office, 125 S.E. Elliott Road. Bring resumes to hand out to possible employers. To preregister, call 971-832-8625.

Medicine disposal date set n Newberg

The city of Newberg provides a safe drop box for the public to dispose of unneeded or expired over-the-counter medications. The drop box is located in the lobby of the Public Safety Building at 401 E. Third St. and the service is free and anonymous.

City officials said medications tossed in the garbage or flushed down the drain end up in the soil or in drinking water; most medications cannot be filtered out by the wastewater plant.

It's asked that medications be kept in their original containers or placed in a bag (no loose tablets). The city does not accept intravenous solutions, injectables, syringes or medical waste.

For more information, call Ken Howell at 503-538-8321.

Griffith wins award

Leah Griffith, director of the Newberg Public Library, won the Oregon Library Association (OLA) Presidents Award on April 20. The president's award is given by the OLA president to an individual who has made an impact on Oregon libraries and to the OLA. Griffith has been an active member since 1983. She served as chairwoman of the Public Library Division, the publication relations committee, the honors, awards and scholarship committee, the annual conference planning committee and on various ad hoc and standing committees.

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