Standard Beverage owner offers scholarship program for employees, children

Employees of several companies in California and Wichita owned by Leslie Rudd will be able to receive up to $5,250 annually through a new scholarship program.

Leslie Rudd Portfolio Group said the LRIco Scholarship Program will be available to full-time employees and children of employees who have been with the company 10 years or more.

The program will begin next year.

“There is no limit on the scholarships we will give out,” said Dee Bielenberg, a former University of California, Berkeley, history professor who is heading up the program.

Companies owned by Rudd, a Wichita State University alumnus, include Standard Beverage Corp., a wine, liquor and beer distributor with operations in Wichita, Lawrence and Lenexa.

His Leslie Rudd Investment Co. also has operations in Wichita.

The scholarship program has partnered with WSU and Arizona State University, but the scholarship is not limited to the two universities.

Bielenberg said the two schools were selected as partners because they have strong online degree programs and support systems for adults returning to college.

She said the expectation is that most of the employees who use the program will do so to complete a bachelor’s degree. It can also be used by employees wanting to earn a master’s degree.

“We included graduate school in the program,” she said.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.