This is the move-in weekend for our 13,000 students living on campus. This past Friday, we witnessed the Class of 2017 (over 4,500) as they settled in. This was a big day for them and for us too. We already met many freshmen and family members through the open house and orientation sessions, but it was a special day as students were ‘really dropped off’ by their parents for the first time. Many of families dined with their students one last time before heading home. It was also an emotional day for them, that’s for sure.
Recently, UMass Amherst was ranked the 9th healthiest college in the U.S—and second healthiest public university—according to Greatist.com. Our wellness programs and our devotion to serving healthy food contributed to the recognition. Yet while we are honored, we still have work to do to create the ultimate healthy dining experience on campus. So as we finish up the renovation of the Hampshire DC (to be completed August 15 and opening September 1), we’ve decided to make this DC our ground zero for creating and serving healthy, sustainable food.
It’s that time of the year again - UMass is conducting Freshmen Orientation for the Class of 2017 for the next 5 weeks. As always, the Office of Parent Services is also offering Parents and Family Orientations simultaneously to ensure that the new UMass parents can learn as much as possible about the academic program and campus life and how to best support their student.
I’ve been on Cloud 9 since hearing the news that I was taking home a Silver Plate Award. Presented by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the Silver Plate Awards are one of the oldest and most prestigious awards given to restaurant industry professionals who excel in their fields. It’s humbling that I took home the prize for the colleges and universities segment, which is one of the Silver Plate’s most-competitive categories.
How time flies. As the spring semester winds down rapidly, we are almost at the end of another school year. This is final exam week and Commencement is next weekend.
So for students packing in extra study time during finals, tonight our DCs have exam treats. We’re also extending our hours of operation, closing at 2:00 am.
It’s been a busy, memorable time for all of us at UMass. We are celebrating everything from Founders Day, various alumni events, and the inauguration of the chancellor, to the launch of the UMass Rising Capital Campaign. For Auxiliary Enterprises, this means that we are in the thick of things. It’s so great to be part of the festivities.
(Link to Flyer)
At UMass Dining Services, we are fortunate to have more than 16,000 students and staff on the meal plan. Among them, 3,368 are seniors. It is unusual for any school to have so many seniors on the meal plan, but it’s the new normal at UMass.
That is the $64 thousand question.
UMass Dining recently hosted the second “Best Campus Food” event at the Berkshire Dining Commons. The event followed the 2013 Princeton Review rankings, which not only rates academics but also food quality on campus. This year, we were ranked #3 for food, an impressive feat.
Two week ago, I attended a conference in which I overheard a speaker on a panel say something that I couldn’t agree with. The point the speaker made was that even though college students talk about healthy eating, they still consume a lot of burgers and fries.
Last Thursday afternoon, I received a call from John Lehmann of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). He casually asked if I were available during the middle of May. I checked my calendar and answered yes. Then John said, “Congratulations, you have been selected to receive one of the 2013 Silver Plate Awards in the category of College and Universities.” He also requested my attendance for several events leading up to the evening of the Gold & Silver Plate Celebration.