William Grant launches spirits scholarship20th January, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
William Grant & Sons has announced the creation of a new spirits educational scholarship in memory of employee Ian Murray, who passed away in 2013.
Open to 18-30 year olds working within a UK off-trade spirits retail environment, the Ian Murray Scholarship is designed to help develop the recipient’s knowledge of the spirits category and malt whisky in particular.
In addition to being supported through their WSET Level 1 and 2 qualifications, the winner will complete a presentation skills course and complete an educational distillery visit to one of William Grant & Sons’ sites.
Introducing the initiative, Kirsten Grant Meikle, fifth generation Grant family member and head of strategic on-trade development at distributor First Drinks, commented: “Ian was a big personality within the business. His boundless enthusiasm for all things whisky and in particular the Grant family history has inspired us to create the ‘Ian Murray Scholarship’.”
Recalling Ian’s work, both at First Drinks and later his own consultancy Spirited Solutions, to inspire people about the whisky category, she said: “We hope to channel his passion for the industry into a new generation of drinks enthusiasts.”
As part of this effort in Ian’s memory, Grant Meikle explained: “The scholarship will combine spirits education with practical experience to ensure the successful candidate completes the programme feeling confident that William Grant & Sons and the legacy of Ian Murray helped them on their way to a successful career in the drinks industry.”
The scholarship will be awarded annually with the winner chosen by the Murray family from a shortlist of 10 applicants which will be compiled by Ian’s colleagues and members of the Grant family.
Those eligible for the scholarship should provide a 200-300 word statement explaining why they wish to apply, together with the following information:
• Date of birth
• Current employer
• Manager’s name
• Manager’s phone number
Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “The Ian Murray Scholarship” in the subject box. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2014 and the successful candidate will be announced on 31 March 2014.