St. Louis, Oct. 24, 2004 – Sixteen colleges and universities from Missouri and Illinois are gathering in St. Louis today with community, government and liquor industry leaders for the “American Campus and Alcohol Conference,” a three-day meeting on combatting alcohol abuse on college campuses. “The purpose of this conference is to develop and sustain partnerships between the campus, the beverage alcohol industry, the community and local government to prevent underage drinking and alcohol abuse on our state’s campuses,” said Keith Fuller, State Supervisor for the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. Representatives from the colleges and universities are attending the conference to develop specific, action-oriented plans to take back and implement in their community. “As a former university chancellor, I know the campus and community must work together in a sustained and strategic way to combat alcohol abuse,” said Dr. Peter Cressy, president of the Distilled Spirits Council, a national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S. and one of the co-sponsors of the conference. “The distilled spirits industry is an active member of the community and we will continue our longstanding commitment to reduce underage drinking and alcohol abuse on our nation’s campuses.” Schools participating in the conference are: Fontbonne University, Harris-Stowe State College, Lincoln University, Lindenwood University, Linn State Technical College, Maryville University, Southern Illinois University, St. Charles Community College, St. Louis Community College at Meramac, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri at Columbia, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Washington University, Webster University, Westminster College and William Woods. The conference, taking place Oct. 24- 26 at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, is being convened by the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. At the conference, nationally recognized speakers from universities, government and alcohol-related organizations are presenting information and research on a range of best practices being used successfully on campuses across the country to reduce underage drinking and alcohol abuse among college students. The Distilled Spirits Council provided a $20,000 grant to the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control to host the conference. The conference is modeled off of the national “American Campus and Alcohol” conference which was attended by 34 universities and convened in Washington D.C. in October 2000 by the Distilled Spirits Council and five universities. Since the national conference, the Distilled Spirits Council has co-sponsored regional “American Campus and Alcohol” conferences in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, New York and Connecticut.