By: Andrew York ‘19
Big changes will be coming to the college this summer as Dining Services received a generous donation to renovate and improve their operations.
Gordon will be hiring Bon Apetit Management Company to partner with the college’s dining services starting in the summer 2017.
In an email to the school, Vice President for Finance and Administration Michael Ahearn wrote, “We have found the perfect partner for Gordon and that we will be moving forward with a long overdue upgrade to our meal plans and dining facilities.”
Bon Apetit is committed to sustainability, as well as ensuring its ingredients are fresh and locally sourced. The company is also committed to partnering with the community, and understanding the community’s values, “needs, and preferences.”
The college was granted this opportunity in a generous, seven-figure gift from Sherry Tupper, a long-time supporter of the college.
Tupper’s involvement with the college started in the 1990s with the enrollment of her son and daughter-in-law attending and graduating the school. Since then, Tupper has served as co-chair of the parent’s association, a member of the president’s advisory council and president of the board for the Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and the Arts. She has also worked on capital campaigns for the college.
Ahearn assured the college community in an email that no cuts in staff will occur, cash options will be available in purchasing items and all-you-can-eat opportunities are scheduled to run.
In addition, Lane Student Center will undergo physical renovations to the layout of the dining hall, kitchen, and servery areas. A new dining option will also be added to the Bennett Athletic and Recreation Center.
Decisions for renovations were comprised by a task force which was headed by Paul Edwards, Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President for Advancement, and Kathy Walker, Director of Parent Engagement.
Four meetings were held by the task force in which they identified stakeholders and priorities of the dining services, discussed trends at other colleges, and finally reviewed mid-year surveys by students. Around half of the freshman population responded to the surveys, and their input was viewed as unbiased and very helpful.
Starting in April, Bon Apetit will come to campus and start making plans for the partnership as they receive feedback from surveys and focus groups from the community. Further details on meal plans and menu will become clear as the company learns more.
The task force’s GCSA representative, Emiko Macaluso ‘19, said that she is “elated and very pleased” with the outcome of it all. In many ways, Macaluso said, this news is just the beginning.
Macaluso said, “One thing I’m excited about is a bigger ‘Gordon community group’ that will be giving feedback for [the next] two years, in helping Bon Appetit [continue] refining the changes.”