It took only one week in an introductory wine course for Emma Libby to decide she would double major at Linfield University.
“The social aspect and history of wine is what drives my passion,” said Libby, a junior from Forest Park, Washington, who also majors in journalism and media studies. “One of my favorite things about the wine studies program is the amount of field trips and inside views we get of wineries and vineyards. It helps solidify that this is where I want to work in the future and creates strong connections for students to pursue our passion after graduation.”
Libby is among the first three recipients of the Linfield’s Domaine Serene Scholarship, which helps cover the cost of tuition for underrepresented student populations in the wine studies program. Adrian Garcia, a junior from Gresham, and Laura (Citlalli) Cruz Reyes, a junior from Gresham, are the other inaugural recipients.
The scholarships were made possible through a $500,000 donation by Grace and Ken Evenstad to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in wine careers.
“All of us at Domaine Serene are proud to be able to support these outstanding students,” said Grace Evenstad, who founded the prominent Domaine Serene Winery with her husband, Ken, in 1989. “Our industry needs more leaders, especially those who represent diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
Grace – along with Domaine Serene’s president and CEO Ryan Harris – spent a day on Linfield’s McMinnville campus connecting with students in the wine studies program.
The investment in educational careers will continue to transform lives for years to come.
“Despite the affordability of a Linfield education, and even with the generous financial aid packages the university offers, there is still a lot of need that goes unmet,” said Joseph Hunter, Linfield’s vice president for university advancement. “It is why scholarships are so important, especially as our demographics are changing. These scholarships make a college education more affordable to more students.”
This year’s Domaine Serene Scholarship recipients will also be honored at the Portland Trailblazers game on Jan. 25, 2022. Domaine Serene is the “Luxury Wine of Choice,” for the Trailblazers and operates an immersive wine studio at the Moda Center.
The Domaine Serene Scholarships are the latest in the Evenstads’ longtime support of wine education at Linfield. A $6 million gift in 2018 established the Evenstad Center for Wine Education and the winery has previously hosted cooperative on-site educational programs in Dundee and study abroad trips at the Evenstad’s French winery, Château de la Crée in Burgundy.