Oct 8, 2018
Wine center in Michigan named for benefactors

Lake Michigan College’s future wine and viticulture building will be named for longtime LMC supporters Mike and Lisa Welch, the college announced Oct. 5

The teaching winery is under construction on LMC’s Benton Township campus in southwest Michigan. It is slated to open in 2019 as the Welch Center.

Mike Welch

“The legacy of leadership and generosity shown to this college by Mike and Lisa Welch over the years has been nothing short of transformative. Their impact will be felt for generations to come,” LMC President Trevor Kubatzke stated in a news release.

For more than 16 years, the Stevensville couple has volunteered on numerous LMC boards and committees, including the Winner’s Circle Scholarship Benefit Auction as event chairs in 2010. Lisa continues to serve on the auction’s executive committee. She serves on the board of Lake Michigan Vintners teaching winery and tasting room.

Mike has served on the LMC Foundation board since 2002, and was board president from July 2012 to June 2014. During the Foundation’s Campaign for Tomorrow, Mike provided leadership as a cabinet member, helping raise $8 million for the wine center and the Hanson Technology Center.

In 2011, they established the Mike & Lisa Welch Family Endowed Scholarship, and in 2018 were awarded with LMC’s Bernard Radde award.

Lisa Welch

Mike is an LMC alumnus and graduated from Western Michigan University. He is the president of Magnate Worldwide and founded the freight expedition company Express-1. Lisa is a graduate of Edwardsburg High School and Michigan State University.

The $7 million Welch Center will replace the temporary two-room laboratory set up in The Mendel Center when the program launched in 2015 to support the region’s rapidly growing wine industry.

Students study enology (winemaking), viticulture (grape-growing), and business. Graduates earn associate degrees in applied science in wine and viticulture technology.

The 14,000 square-foot building will be north of The Mendel Center. It will include a large tank room, bottling room, barrel room, dry storage area and a laboratory. There will be classrooms, offices and an open commons area.

More information about the program can be found at www.lakemichigancollege.edu/wine.

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