Dr. Robert L. Wample, whose nine years at the helm of its acclaimed viticulture and enology research programs helped vault California State University, Fresno to global agricultural education prominence, will be honored Sept. 19 for his impact on the university and the grape and wine industry.
Wample’s retirement from his dual role as director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (VERC) and chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology was effective Aug. 31.
The Sept. 19 event, which is open to the public, is also a fundraiser to establish the Robert L. Wample Viticulture and Enology Endowment Fund to support the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology’s viticulture and enology program. Tickets cost $50. The reservation deadline is Sept. 13.
A search is under way for Wample’s successor. Dr. James Prince, professor of biology, was named the interim department chair for viticulture and enology. Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of Jordan College, will oversee the VERC position during the transition.
Under Wample’s leadership, the program bloomed as viticulture and enology were merged at Fresno State after nearly 50 years operating independently. In 2000, Fresno State was the first California State University campus to combine its viticulture and enology research and academic offerings.
As department chair and director of research, he has worked closely with the university’s Viticulture and Enology Industry Advisory Board.
Wample has raised well over $500,000 of industry funding for his research program. He gives credit to the grape and wine industry for supporting Fresno State. Examples include a major gift from the Boswell family to build the World Cooperage Barrel House at the Fresno State Winery and establishment of the Bronco Wine Co. viticulture chair position.
More information is available at 559-278-4266.