Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits will jointly fund a scholarship for students pursuing hospitality degrees in honour of spirits industry veteran Robert Qualls.
The Robert Qualls Scholarship Fund was created by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Educational Foundation, and will be funded equally by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.
The fund will award a total of US$100,000 to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a hospitality degree over the next five years.
Under the scholarship, four students per year will be awarded US$5,000 each to help fund their education expenses.
Michelle Korsmo, WSWA president and CEO, said: “The WSWA Educational Foundation is proud to play a part in establishing the Robert Qualls Scholarship Fund, helping the next generation of hard-working and determined students make contributions to the hospitality industry for decades to come.”
The Robert Qualls Scholarship Fund strives to ‘honour and uphold’ Qualls’ legacy in the drinks industry. Qualls started his career in the hospitality sector as a distributor sales representative, before undertaking rolls with both Tito’s and Southern Glazer’s as part of his 40-year career.
Tito Beveridge, founder of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, said: “Robert was the kind of genuine, loyal friend that most people are lucky to meet in their lifetime.
“Smart, optimistic and perpetually beaming, Robert was a true gentleman with a heart bigger than the state he was born in. His commitment to making Tito’s better every day was an inspiration to not only me, but every single person he worked with.
“Robert was a one-of-kind mentor, and this scholarship not only serves to honour his memory, but also to help jumpstart the studies and careers of students nationwide who seek to follow in his footsteps.”
Full-time or part-time students with an eligible connection to an alcohol producer, wholesaler or retailer can apply for the scholarship until 31 May 2021. To find out more or to apply, visit wswa.org/scholarships.
Via News – The Spirits Business