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    “Whiskey and Wagyu” Event

    UT Southwestern Medical Center 
    Special Events, Projects, Programs, or Campaigns 

    “Whiskey and Wagyu” was a singular alumni dining experience featuring the distinctive flavors of aged whiskey and premium beef. What made the curated dining experience at UT Southwestern Medical Center even more special was that both components of the meal had a direct connection to our alumni. The beef was raised and donated by a University of Texas Southwestern Medical School alumnus and practicing physician, who raises American Wagyu cattle. The whiskey pairings were selected by a graduate of our Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, who is an international award-winning master distiller. The resulting event created a unique experience for alumni that provided ample opportunities to reconnect with each other, learn about science in a new and engaging way, and enjoy an elevated dining experience at their alma mater. 
    What was the most impactful part of your entry? 
    We had never done an event quite like “Whiskey and Wagyu” before. Part of what made it most impactful was the opportunity to bring together alumni in medicine and biomedical sciences to engage with their disciplines in a new way. While many in the crowd were experts, they weren’t necessarily experts in ranching or distilling. This leveled the playing field and gave everyone a chance to engage with the topics as newcomers, creating more opportunities for social engagement and learning. This camaraderie created a fun and friendly environment that mixed great food and drink with an appreciation for the sciences behind those pursuits. 
    What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience? 
    In many ways, the success of this event stemmed from how opinionated people were about it. We respect and understand that some people prefer not to consume beef or alcohol, and we knew this event would not be for them. But in focusing on these two complimentary tastes, we were surprised to find how much enthusiasm existed in these overlapping interests. At some points in the event planning process, we were worried that we might be limiting our potential audience too much. Instead, we learned how much excitement can be harnessed when you match alumni events with topics that people are passionate about. 
    Contact: Robert Waller