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2014 College Power Players: Purdue

2014 College Power Players: Purdue

A special report from FM profiles the dining operations at the U.S. universities with the largest campus resident populations. See all colleges >>

Purdue University

15. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Students Living on Campus: 11,343
Dining Head: Gregory Minner, director of Purdue Dining & Catering
Total Enrollment: 38,788
No. of Meal Plans Sold: 9,246
Annual Dining Program Revenues: $19.7 million
Cost of Residential Meal Plan: $1,500-$5,172/year
No. of Residential Dining Halls/Commons: 6*
No. of Retail Outlets: 28
Management: self-operated
Phone: (765) 494-1000; (765) 494-8900
* includes athletic dining court

Dining at Purdue is operated by the housing department and the Memorial Union, which have responsibility for the residential and retail dining outlets, respectively (an Athletic Dining court is also operated by housing). 

Overall, the highly lauded Purdue campus dining operation (No. 14 in The Princeton Review Best Campus Food and No. 25 in The Daily Meal in 2013) is also giving students and parents a break with five percent reductions in meal plan rates in both 2013 and 2014 as part of a campus leadership initiative to “make a college education more affordable.”

A year ago, the dining program opened Fuel, a Freshens smoothie bar, in the renovated recreational sports center to provide healthy options, and added Indian Masala, an Indian food concept, to the choices at the Memorial Union. This fall, it is opening a second licensed Starbucks Café in a residence hall along with a new 3rd Street Market mini-mart and the Catalyst Café, a We Proudly Serve Starbucks concept featuring smoothies, baked goods and grab-and-go in the Wetherill Chemistry Building.

Also, the Catering & Events Office has rolled out new, improved menus while Residential Dining hosted Spring Fling, Purdue’s first campus-wide Zero Waste event, last year. Last December also saw the second annual Gingerbread Contest, pitting teams from various dining facilities against each other.

Next: 16. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Previous: 14. Boston University, Boston, MA

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