Part of the mission of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine is to further the advancement of wine production and the enjoyment of wine made in the United States of America. To achieve these goals a number of scholarship programs at various institutions have been established.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT DAVIS
In 1974, when there was only one Chapter of the KOV, cadre officer William F. Cowan, the Chief Deputy-Director of Food and Agriculture for the State of California, established a Knights of the Vine Scholarship Fund at the University of California at Davis.
The scholarship fund has provided financial assistance through awards granted to students who are pursuing studies in enology or viticulture, and who may need some encouragement and financial support. To be eligible, the student must have completed a baccalaureate degree and be in pursuit of an advanced degree leading to a career in the wine industry or related areas. Since the first award in 1974, our Brotherhood has provided scholarships to over 110 worthy student scholars selected by the University.
Over the years we have heard from many of the recipients of these scholarships and have had the pleasure of meeting some of them in person. Today many of the recipients of our scholarships are working at many well known wineries around the world and teaching at major universities.
TEXAS A&M VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT – College Station, Texas
The Houston Chapter has provided scholarship and research funds for many years to Texas A&M’s Viticulture Department. Through that continued giving, the Houston Chapter has supported many students who have interned at wineries around the world. In addition, Texas A&M created the KOV Vineyard where students study and perform research in vineyard management. Recently the vineyard received a $10,000 endowment which funded the installation of a water tank to support the vineyard, eliminating the use of city water which was very high in salt, resulting in difficult circumstances and negatively impacted research.
STEVE PESSAGNO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California
The Monterey Peninsula Chapter created the Steve Pessagno Memorial Scholarship at California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo to honor Steve Pessagno, a member of that Chapter and owner and winemaker of Pessagno Winery.
THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON’S CONRAD N. HILTON COLLEGE OF HOSPITALITY AND RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT – Houston, Texas
In 2011, the Houston Chapter expanded its philanthropic efforts by establishing the Knights of the Vine Scholarship Endowment at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hospitality and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. The College recognized as one of the top hospitality programs in the world, draws students from across the globe.
The original Endowment was established to promote the goals of all KOV Chapters, not just the Houston Chapter. The original commitment was $25,000, the proceeds of which support a permanent scholarship endowment for students pursuing careers in culinary arts, hotel and restaurant management, and wine and spirts education. Students from around the world apply to this program and scholarship recipients are selected by the University Scholarship Committee. . That original commitment has been met and the endowment is fully funded. As the endowment grows through continued support by Houston and other Chapters, the number of annual scholarships keeps increasing. KOV Chapters everywhere are encouraged to make donations to this Endowment. A significant incentive is that every dollar given to the Endowment is matched by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
In addition to the original Endowment, the Brotherhood of the Knight of the Vine has also committed to be one of three sponsors for the construction of a Fermentation and Brewing Lab at the University to benefit all students in that course of study.
JAMES SPRUNT COMMUNITY COLLEGE AT Kenansville, NC
SURRY COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN Dobson, NC
The North Carolina Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine (KOV) promotes the growing of grapes, production of wines in North Carolina, and the responsible, socially acceptable enjoyment of wine at dinners and social events. The scholarship program is a major mission of the NC KOV and is targeted for students studying viticulture and enology at James Sprunt Community College (JSCC) in Kenansville, NC and Surry Community College (SCC) in Dobson, NC. Scholarship recipients must be in good academic standing and are selected by the college and approved by the NC KOV. We encourage interested persons to make tax deductible contributions to our scholarship endowment fund. Interested students attending either of these two community colleges may apply for these annual $500 scholarship awards.
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