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In The News

Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute Receives $100,000 Gift from Republic National Distributing Company

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the latest round of financial support for the future Wine Spectator Learning Center from Republic National Distributing Company, a family-owned business and the second largest wholesale wine and spirits distributor in the country. The $100,000 Icon Level gift will support construction of the new education and industry hub and future home of the Wine Business Institute, featuring advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders. The facility is expected to open in Summer 2017.

"Investing in education and the Wine Spectator Learning Center will enlighten our industry. We’re incredibly fortunate to be part of its growth,” Alan Dreeben, Partner at Republic National Distributing Company said.

"Alan and Republic National Distributing Company have made a significant commitment to support the future of the wine industry through this investment in wine business education and research. We’re pleased to have their partnership as we embark on this major project for the University and the global wine business community," Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics and the Wine Business Institute said.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot, $9.15 million learning center began on June 1, 2016 with an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 300 people, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken, and other luminaries in government, education, and industry.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer seminars, certificates, and degree programs focused on the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center project, please visit, call 707-664-3235, or email

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