Campus Blog

Why Evangel’s dining hall really is the greatest

February 11th, 2014 | Sean White

Food. It’s the thing most of us look forward to all day. Whether you prefer the morning’s eggs and bacon, a sandwich at lunch or any number of dinner options, everybody has a favorite meal.

But meal times are about more than food. Meal time is when we all stop and come together for a common purpose — taking time to connect, share about our day, laugh together and laugh together. Because of this, family dinners tend to be one of the biggest things that college students miss about home.

But I have great news! Being in college — especially at Evangel — gives you plenty of opportunities to share that experience over meals throughout the day. Honestly, the way that I met and got to know most of my friends was from time spent with them at a table in the dining hall.

Todd Lanning Luau

You can usually find Food Services Director Todd Lanning in the middle of any fun activity around campus.

At Evangel we have two main dining areas, the Caf and the Joust. The dining hall, or Caf as many students call it, has a buffet-style dining room and multiple options for meals. The Joust is located on the second floor of the student union and has three main options. The first station has burgers, chicken strips and pizza. The second has burrito bowls, basically rice, beans and meat with your choice of toppings. The third offers wraps with your choice of meat, cheese and vegetables.

The dining hall gives students different options for each meal every day. There are a few constants, like cold cuts and cereal; beside those there is a wide variety of foods ranging from Mexican to Italian to Asian. There is also an option of pizza with various toppings. If students have something that they would like to add to the menu, they are encouraged to fill out a comment card and submit it to our food services director Todd Lanning.

And speaking of Todd Lanning, he is the one who really sets Evangel’s food services apart from the rest and makes dining at Evangel the amazing experience that it is. Lanning is known around campus for his friendliness and his care for students.

He is known to do a lot of things that aren’t part of his job description. He loves to join in on a student snowball fight or come out of his office with a special cake to serve a student on their birthday. On more than one occasion, he has given groups of students a ride to get ice cream from a local place. And he loves to sit down with students while they are eating and ask what they think of the food and if they have any special suggestions.

I asked him why he cares so much about making the dining experience so special for students, and he said, “It is truly their food service program and I want to take it in the direction they want it to go.” He said that what he really loves about being at Evangel is the immediate feedback he gets from students, and that the environment he works in makes him want to do the best job he can.

As a student, I can say that he has done that.

Food at college is a major concern. I live on campus and eat here every day, and it has always been a good experience. I love the opportunities to spend time with friends eating good food served by people like Todd Lanning who care about the students as more than customers, but as friends.


Want more? Check out photos of the Caf and the Joust.

Sean White

Sean White, an Evangel junior, is from Long Island, New York. As a Journalism major with minors in Photography and Intercultural Studies, he has a passion for telling stories and using that gift to advance missions efforts around the world.

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