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Milestones: Fred Dollar

Fred Dollar, an early innovator in the college and university segment, passed away on September 5 at his home in College Station, TX. He was 89.

A retired U.S. Army colonel, Dollar had served as the foodservice director at Texas A&M University for many years. A 1977 NACUFS Theodore Minah award winner and a 1978 IFMA Silver Plate recipient, Dollar was one of the first to formalize student review committees to solicit input on the school’s menu and service offerings. He was also a pioneer in developing an early “shopping center” style servery and in transitioning his operation from “family style” served meals to fast-food concepts in the late 1960s and early 1970s

According to Lloyd Smith, a protege of Dollar's who succeeded him as director of foodservice at the school, Dollar's design innovations included the development of "accordian style," modular servery stations that facilitated the high volume meal service required at Texas A&M. He also built and opened what is generally acccepted as the first modern food court on a college campus in 1976. Smith provided the following information about Dollar to FM:

Fred W. Dollar

Colonel Fred W. Dollar (Ltc. retired) went to be with his Lord September 5, 2010 at the age of 89. Visitation will be Thursday, September 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.) at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station. Services are set for Friday, September 10, 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Funeral Chapel.

Col. Dollar was born June 19, 1921 in Henderson Texas to Floyd W. and Minnie L. Dollar. He was a graduate of Texas A&M College class of 1944, and attended the Subsistence Technology Course at the Food and Container Institute in Chicago, Cornell University Institutional Management School and Advanced Food Service Courses at Fort Lee Virginia. He was inducted into the Army in March of 1943 and had a distinguished career in the Quarter Master Corps. He participated in the Utah Beach landing expediting food and supplies from ships for General Patton’s and Bradley’s forces. He spent the rest of the war in Europe. During the Korean conflict he went 90 consecutive nights with only occasional naps in order to feed over 300,000 allied troops and prisoners of war. The food on hand was often limited to only two or three days supply

His innovative nature became apparent in the military where he patented several items. He changed the practice of shipping un-cleaned refrigerated chickens “New York” dressed to our troops to fully clean poultry, which was revelatory at the time. He also arranged for the Army to purchase layer packed chicken parts which is now known as portion control chicken that is seen in grocery stores today.

Col. Dollar retired from the Army in 1965 to become the Director of Food Service at Texas A&M, a job he held for 22 years. While Director of Food Services the University changed from family style feeding of 8,000 students to a modern campus dining operation feeding 65,000 meals per day. His expertise was recognized worldwide for changing the way students eat and how food is prepared and served. His many innovations were recognized by some of the food industry’s top honors. He received the coveted International Food Service Manufacturers Association (IFMA) Silver Plate Award in 1978 for College Food Service, Institutions Magazine Ivy Award voted on by food service operations throughout the nation, and the National Association of College and University Food Service(NACUFS) Ted Minah Award of Outstanding Service in 1977and NACUFS Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990, Texas Restaurant Association Hall of Honor, Texas A&M University Distinguished Faculty Staff Award and many more honors. The Texas A&M Board of Regents honored his service by naming the Fred W. Dollar Food Service Center for him and made him Director Emeritus.

He was active in many professional organizations including the Texas Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association, NACUFS, and was a founding member of the Society for Advancement in Food Service Research. He was President of the Texas Restaurant Association, President of the NACUFS Region IV, President of the Society for Advancement in Food Service Research, chairmen of the Legal and Legislation Committee for NACUFS and a sought after speaker for many food related organizations.

Fred Dollar was an innovator in the food service industry, introducing the first food court on a college campus opening before the advent of mall food courts. He designed three new serving systems that improved speed of service and selection. He was instrumental in the commercial development of pre-cooked bacon, use of impingement jet technology and revolutionizing methods for college food service. His motto of “Quality First” was seen in the Texas A&M food service operations and was recognized by his peers in the food service industry. He was a tireless worker.

He was a devoted Christian and was a Deacon in The Bryan Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Aggieland, and a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, and Shriners.

Col. Dollar is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years Frances Crenshaw Dollar, his daughter Lydia (Arlene) Junek and son-in-law Ivo Junek, granddaughter Suzanne Junek Crawford and her husband Jerod Crawford and one great grandson Matthew Crawford. He was preceded in death by his son Robert Dollar and daughter Annette Dollar, his parents and two sisters.

—Lloyd Smith

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