Alumni College in Kentucky

An Equestrian and Spirits-Filled Adventure
with Professor Hollis Robbins, A&S '83

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"Victory" by Lesley Humphrey, 2011: Official Art of the 137th Kentucky Derby


Friday, September 26 – Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spend a fall weekend learning about the literature and culture of Kentucky, while experiencing first-hand what the Bluegrass State is most famous for – horses and bourbon. Learn about the "liquid gold" whose roots go back 200 years, prohibition, and the distilling process as you take in some of the iconic makers of Bourbon in Louisville, Bardstown, and Lexington. Discover the southern nostalgia expressed through Stephen Foster’s music and My Old Kentucky Home. Visit Churchill Downs, imagebrowser imagehome of the Kentucky Derby; the Kentucky Horse Park and its museum; a private horse farm to find out how champion race horses are bred and trained; and explore the life of the jockeys who ride them.

Faculty: Hollis Robbins, A&S ’83, is Chair of the Humanities Department at the Peabody Institute and incoming Director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  Her work focuses on the intersection of nineteenth century American and African American literature and the discourses of law and bureaucracy.  She was co-editor of The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  The winner of the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award at Peabody, Hollis will give a series of lectures on the literature and culture of Kentucky, including a lecture on War, Prohibition and Bourbon Standards, on Stephen Foster, and on the Black Jockeys of the Kentucky Derby.




Quick Itinerary:

Friday, September 26
Meet at 4 p.m. Afternoon visit to Bourbon Row and the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville
Welcome dinner at one of Louisville’s premier restaurants

Saturday, September 27
Morning lecture by Hollis Robbins at 21C Museum Hotel
"War, Prohibition and Bourbon Standards"
Bus departs for Kentucky Derby Museum tour
Guided tour of Churchill Downs and lunch in the Derby Café
Bus to Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont
Return to Louisville
Reception with local alumni at 21C’s Proof on Main bar area
Evening and dinner at your leisure

Sunday, September 28
Morning lecture by Hollis Robbins at 21C Hotel
"My Old Kentucky Home": Stephen Foster, Uncle Tom, and Southern Nostalgia
Bus departs for My Old Kentucky Home State Park and Museum
Continue to Heaven Hills Distillery and Bourbon Heritage Center
Arrive in historic Bardstown for walking tour, Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey, the Civil War Museum and Pioneer Village

Enjoy lunch at your leisure
Continue to Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto
Return to Louisville
Evening and dinner at your leisure

Monday, September 29
Bus departs for the Kentucky Horse Park, for guided tour including the International Museum of the Horse
Lunch and lecture by Hollis Robbins at Horse Park Café

"Jocko Graves": Lawn Jockeys and Black Jockeys of the Kentucky Derby
Guided tour of Claiborne Horse Farm
Continue to Four Roses Bourbon Distillery
Return to Louisville
Farewell Dinner at one of Louisville’s premier restaurants

Tuesday, September 30
Check-out and departure

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What's Included




  • Lectures as outlined
  • All entry fees and tastings as specified in the itinerary
  • Two lunches, two dinners, one reception
  • Deluxe motor coach throughout with experienced driver/guide




Choose the hotel of your liking or choose our base, 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville. Much more than a place to spend the night, 21c is an innovative union of authentic Southern hospitality, thoughtful design and accessible luxury — all anchored by world-class contemporary art by today’s emerging and internationally acclaimed artists (hence the name, paying homage to the 21st century)

A block of rooms has been reserved at the rate of $199 per night until August 26.  (After that date, it will be space available.) Please contact them directly with questions and to reserve by calling 877-217-6400 (reservations) or 502-217-6300 (Hotel) and give the group name “Johns Hopkins Alumni.”

21C Museum Hotel
700 West Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Phone 502-217-6300





$895 per person

Cancellation policy applies

A minimum number of participants is needed to operate the program. There has been strong interest in this program so reserve early.  As always we strongly recommend that you consider obtaining travel insurance.