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Press Release

MSU Denver and Banfi Vintners Foundation partnership yields scholarships for students studying wine


Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: March 29, 2016



DENVER – Six Metropolitan State University of Denver students in the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events (HTE) received the institution’s first Banfi Wine Scholars Annual Scholarship from the Banfi Vintners Foundation. Scholarship recipients include: Mason Balistreri, Keegan Gallik, Milo Hang, Megan Rose McLinden, Jessica Plude and Karlise Putnam.

The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Banfi Vintners, a leading U.S. wine importer with a commitment to further the industry through its support of higher education, fellowships and grants. The Banfi scholarship is part of a new three-year agreement with MSU Denver that will award up to $12,000 per academic year to beverage management students. Each student will receive $2,000 in tuition support.

“Banfi continues to be an invaluable partner for MSU Denver’s wine education,” said Cynthia OnkenGlimm, affiliate beverage faculty member in the HTE Department. “The company’s support is helping ease the financial burden for our students and giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the transformative experiences available through our growing beverage program.”

Sharron McCarthy, vice president of wine education for Banfi Vintners, said that Banfi provides more than 20 scholarships in total worldwide and that the company values MSU Denver’s strong commitment to wine education offered to students through its many academic courses in the HTE Department.

“Our philosophy is always to give back,” McCarthy said. “John Mariani, our chairman, says that ‘in order to succeed, you need to give back more than you take.’”

Individualized Degree Program student Mason Balistreri, who is majoring in Global Wine Studies, knows something about family-owned wine companies. His family has been making its own wine for the better part of a century, and 18 years ago his grandparents turned that tradition into a business with the opening of a Denver-based winery. He chose MSU Denver for his formal studies because he wanted to expand his knowledge and skills.

“I think you can learn a lot about the culture and people of a place by the type of wines they produce,” Balistreri said. “This is why I love producers like Banfi, who have such a wonderful ability to share their story, culture and beliefs.” Balistreri said he feels honored to have received the Banfi Vintners scholarship.

“The scholarship will enable me to continue my education with the excellent faculty at MSU Denver in my unique area of interest,” said Balistreri. “I really urge those who are serious about beverage management to look into the beverage programs at MSU Denver because there are so many amazing opportunities to explore depending on your passion and interest."

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About Metropolitan State University of Denver:

For 50 years, Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of students, served as a courageous leader in higher education and boldly advanced the well-being of metro Denver communities. Throughout its history, the University has been known as a gateway to opportunity through broad access, quality academics and education relevant to the Colorado economy. The yearlong MSU Denver anniversary celebration commemorates the creation in 1965 by the Colorado General Assembly of the state’s first urban higher education institution.

 

About the Banfi Vintners Foundation:

The Banfi Vintners Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Banfi Vintners, one of America’s leading wine importers, led today by the children and grandchildren of company founder John F. Mariani, Sr. Encouraged by their success in business, the Mariani family established the Banfi Foundation and from its earnings contributes to leading national charities and higher education through scholarships, fellowships and grants-in-aid. 

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