Over 500 global wine and spirits professionals and industry influencers gathered at London’s historic Guildhall today to celebrate the annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Awards & Graduation Ceremony – the first event in WSET’s 50th anniversary year.
Hosted by WSET Honorary President Steven Spurrier alongside Chief Executive Ian Harris, the occasion saw Sarah Jane Evans MW, last year’s WSET Outstanding Alumni Award winner, open the ceremony with a key note speech to WSET’s largest ever graduating class of Diploma candidates. This year 532 new WSET Diploma graduates were honoured, representing a 21% increase over last year. Graduates came from over 40 countries worldwide ranging from Chile to South Korea to Croatia. This compares to WSET’s first ever graduation ceremony in 1970 when 84 students from the UK received their diplomas.
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, said, “Today we not only congratulate our largest ever class of Diploma graduates and our scholarship and award winners, but also mark the start of our 50th year providing education and qualifications in wine and spirits. With over 750 Approved Programme Providers and three offices across the world, WSET’s global presence is stronger than ever. We will use our 50th anniversary to continue to inspire and support wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. We are confident that we will be celebrating the success of WSET students for another 50 years and beyond.”
Following the graduate procession, outstanding candidates for the 2017/18 academic year were presented with awards and scholarships in recognition of their achievements.