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FIU alumni Tina Vidal-Duart and Carlos Duart gift to name wine studies program at Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

FIU alumni Tina Vidal-Duart and Carlos Duart gift to name wine studies program at Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Funds to support future leaders in the hospitality industry

December 8, 2023 at 9:46am

FIU alumni Tina Vidal-Duart '02, MBA '04 and Carlos Duart'94, MA '99 have announced a gift establishing the Vidal-Duart Wine Studies program at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
The only wine studies program in the country named by a Hispanic family, this commitment underscores the couple’s deep dedication to philanthropy and leadership in the larger community.
Building on the Chaplin School’s ranking as a top 8 hospitality program, according to the 2023 QS World University rankings, the Vidal-Duart Wine Studies Program will directly benefit students seeking their undergraduate degrees in either beverage or spirits management. The gift will help expand the faculty and curriculum, preparing graduates for professions across all sectors of the wine industry, from the business of wine, to distribution/sales, to technology and ownership. It also will create additional experiential learning opportunities to encourage more students to consider a career in the wine industry, while strengthening and expanding industry partnerships.
The Chaplin School’s wine studies and its Bachelor of Science degrees in beverage management and spirits management date back to the 1990s when the undergraduate degree program was established by world-renowned FIU professor and wine expert Patrick “Chip” Cassidy and Southern Wine & Spirits Founders Harvey Chaplin, Mel Dick, and Jay Weiss.
"We are grateful to the Vidal-Duart family for their generous support of this important program at FIU, which goes beyond our campus, to the sands of Miami Beach and the world-famous South Beach Wine & Food Festival,” said FIU President Kenneth A. Jessell. “Tina and Carlos are shining examples of alumni giving back and contributing to the success of FIU students and the community.
Tina Vidal-Duart and Carlos Duart each earned two degrees from FIU and serve in a variety of volunteer leadership roles at FIU. Duart is the vice chair of FIU’s Board of Trustees. Vidal-Duart is a member of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors.

“Carlos and I are incredibly honored and excited to be the first Hispanics in the country to name a wine program.  As we continue to commit ourselves philanthropically, the lack of Hispanic presence in donorship is evident, especially in a predominantly Hispanic community like South Florida,” said Tina Vidal-Duart, who has a master’s in international business and a bachelor’s in international business and marketing. “Not only is it important to continue to elevate our programmatic offering at the University and provide opportunities for students in the tourism and service industry since it represents one of the top five industries in the State of Florida, it is equally as important to provide opportunities for minorities to contribute in a meaningful way and build their family legacy as many families have done before us.”

The impact of the gift is already being felt with the hiring of the first faculty member to hold the Chip Cassidy Professorship. Professor Geralyn Brostrom will join the Chaplin School in January, bringing over two decades of wine industry and teaching experience, along with an international profile highlighted by extensive publications, including three books on wine. Community events and the first student cohort under the program’s new name are scheduled to begin in spring 2024.

“We are honored to have the Vidal-Duart family join our commitment to educate future leaders of the hospitality industry, who will impact our community here and around the globe,” said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School. “We are already seeing their generosity effect change.”