USA – Bacardi USA has partnered with Florida International University to create the Bacardi Center of Excellence at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

The spirits company has unveiled a US$5 million financial package to Florida International University for the establishment of the Bacardi Center of Excellence which will be dedicated to a new and unique educational program tailored for the spirits industry.

The Center of Excellence will provide student scholarship opportunities, promote community events and provide pathways to entrepreneurship.

The Bacardi Beverage Innovation Fund will be used to establish a beverage curriculum and create collaboration opportunities between Bacardi USA and FIU faculty.

The Bacardi Scholarship Endowment will offer students financial assistance and establish professorships. The funding also expands programming at FIU’s CasaCuba.

“At FIU we are proud to partner with Bacardi, a company with deep roots in our community and a legacy of success that goes back to Cuba more than a century ago,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.

“This gift will fuel a perfect combination of tradition and forward-looking projects that will benefit our students and the entire community for generations.”

“We are proud to strengthen the hospitality and tourism management work at FIU while connecting with the future talent of this industry,” said Pete Carr, President of Bacardi North America.

As a company proud of its Cuba origins, we are excited to support CasaCuba and help spotlight the culture that is forever a part of our story.”

Bacardi USA’s US$5 million funding will also create the Bacardi Classroom, a Bacardi Spirits Management Track, and BacardiTeach.

BacardiTeach will offer micro-credentialing opportunities for FIU students, Bacardi employees, on-premise partners and branded educational programs for bartenders.

The spirits company noted that the Bacardi Scholarship Endowment will support the Bacardi Scholars, a multiyear blended scholarship program in addition to previously mentioned initiatives.

“Our partnership with Bacardi USA will positively affect our university, our school’s programs, and the hospitality industry, plus it will greatly enhance the hands-on learning experience for our students,” said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School.