It was a day of fun and frivolity as Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn threatened to take off his coat to the approval of the students. There were loud boos when he threatened to take off his shirt to escape the heat. He cut the ribbon with the assistance of Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland.
“This is what university presidents and mayors do, cut ribbons,” Dr. Conn quipped.
The addition of Dunkin’ Donuts complements Einstein Brothers Bagels in the Humanities Building, Subway and Chick-fil-A in the Paul Conn Student Union.
“... and ‘Papa Conn’s Pizza.’ I don’t know about that. I have to try some before I have much to say about that,” Dr. Conn said.
The name brand chains are operated by Sodexo Food Services. District Manager Celia Daniels said after meeting with students, focus groups and surveys more than a year ago, “We heard you loud and clear. You wanted Dunkin’ Donuts, you wanted Einsteins, Papa Conn’s Pizza and Subway. You asked for it and you got it.”
To celebrate the opening, Dr. William Lamb took a seat in the dunking booth.
“I think this is pretty awesome,” junior Keturah Phillips of Fort Wayne, Ind., said. “I love to see the people coming together and getting excited about food because I’m a big fan of food.”
Freshman Matthew Wilson of Chattsworth, Ga., said the variety of foods enhance the student experience at the university.
“Oh yeah, you gotta have that coffee to wake up for class. The donuts help too — caffeine and sugar, the best thing for you,” he said.
Another student, Ishika Charles, a freshman from the Virgin Islands, was happy to see the new varieties of foods.
“It really did help a lot,” she said. “Lee students, they really enjoy it. I love doughnuts.”
While sugar doughnuts are her favorite, fellow islander and junior Akeem Howell is not a big fan of doughnuts.
“Hopefully I will develop a desire for doughnuts,” he said.
Kelvin Tarukwasha, Sodexo general manager of food services at Lee University, oversees the food operation on campus.
Adam Lewis, who runs the catering division, said the fast food chains bring Lee University in line with other campuses. Having national brands at the school gives more credibility to prospective and current students about what the university is trying to accomplish.
“It shows that these national name brand companies are willing to associate with Lee University and its goals,” Lewis said.