Grace and Ken Evenstad's $6 million gift will expand wine studies at Linfield College

Once it's up and running, the Grace and Ken Evenstad Center for Wine Education will teach students all facets of the wine industry - not only how to grow grapes and make wine, but how to run a tasting-room, finance, marketing and accounting. (Linfield College)

A six-million-dollar gift from Grace and Ken Evenstad to Linfield College in McMinnville will significantly expand wine studies at the college.

The gift will pay for the addition of a wine studies laboratory at the school's new science building and an endowed faculty position.

The couple announced the gift at the Domaine Serene Wine Lounge at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.

“It is so appropriate with vineyards surrounding the town of McMinnville and throughout the area to have this college in the middle of the industry, actually have a program to help the industry,” Grace Evenstad said. “I love the Oregon wine industry and we’ve been at it now making wine since 1989 and we have always tried to elevate the Oregon wind industry to let people know about it throughout the United States and the world.”

Once it's up and running, the Grace and Ken Evenstad Center for Wine Education will teach students all facets of the wine industry - not only how to grow grapes and make wine, but how to run a tasting-room, finance, marketing and accounting.

“All of us have had growing pains as we’ve gotten a little bigger in the wine industry, and we need professional help bot to be profitable and sustainable,” Grace Evenstad said “I think having people educated and then staying in the community and helping our industry will be just a wonderful thing.”

The gift is the largest private donation in the school's history. Funds will also be used to establish a standalone major in wine education at the school in the near future.

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