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  • Midway University Launches New MBA with Tourism & Event Management Concentration

April 13, 2016

Program Offers Unique Bourbon Studies Focus

(Midway, Ky.) – Midway University today announced its newest MBA program – an MBA with Tourism & Event Management concentration. What is most unique about this degree is its focus and coursework specific to Bourbon and the booming Bourbon tourism industry in Kentucky.

“As the University looks to add new programs we look at several key indicators – what areas of job growth are increasing in our region, what needs are in the market that aren’t being met and what segments of the workforce have staffing or specialized training needs,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, president, Midway University. “Tourism in Kentucky is a large industry, and tourism around Kentucky’s Bourbon industry is seeing phenomenal growth yet there really wasn’t a degree program out there focused on the cultural aspects and tourism of bourbon, so we decided it was time to develop one.”

According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Bourbon is a $3 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll of $700 million.

“Our goal is to take Bourbon education to the next level,” said Dr. Tricia Day, Tourism & Event Management program coordinator. “We want to bridge the gap between the manufacturing side of the industry and the enthusiasts’ interest in bourbon as a craft.  The program is designed to combine the two perspectives with a focus on education.  We want our graduates to be highly sought after leaders in the tourism industry.  I see our graduates working in a variety of settings–distilleries and tour operations, local and state convention and visitors’ bureaus, retail and distribution outlets, and hotels and restaurants.”

Day added “there are currently no other Bourbon Studies programs.  There are emerging programs focused on the manufacturing and distillation processes that include bourbon but no programs focus on consumer education, interpretation and sensory evaluation.”

Day has been with Midway University since 2015 and developed the curriculum for this new program. Day holds a Doctorate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from North Carolina State University and has more than 15 years of experience in tourism-related promotions and education.

In addition to the MBA with Tourism & Event Management concentration, a new Minor in Bourbon Studies is available to undergraduate students.

Students interested this MBA program can get started at any time. There are core MBA courses required for every student earning their MBA and then students can choose from among several courses for the 18 credit hour area of concentration. Those area of concentration courses will begin in fall 2016. All of the area of concentration courses will be offered at the Midway campus in the afternoons or evenings and will include many hands-on experiences and trips to area distilleries. Other MBA courses can be completed online which offers working students more flexibility.

Other areas of concentration in the Midway MBA program are Equine Studies, Health Care Administration and Sport Management.

Students interested in enrolling in this program should contact the Midway University Admissions office at 800-952-4122 or email Some courses involving tasting have a 21 years of age prerequisite prior to the first day of class.

Additional information on the programs:

MBA with Tourism & Event Management program outline

Minor in Bourbon Studies program outline