Gazebo’s Re-Grand Opening
On the afternoon of Oct. 27, sometime between 3:15 p.m. and 3:40 p.m., you might have noticed a large crowd gathered around the Gazebo main entrance doors, listening intently to the words of Andrews University Dining Services General Manager Mark Daniels, as excitement and anxiousness filled the air. That is because the Gazebo had its grand opening—again.
This event was titled the Gazebo’s Re-Grand Opening, because while the Gazebo has obviously been open and running for this entire semester, a repeated Grand Opening was scheduled to bring students’ attention to the exact changes that the Gazebo already has and will continue to experience throughout the year.
The audience was comprised of faces from all walks of life at the university, including Assistant Director of Student Activities and Involvement Emily Carlson, Vice President for Campus & Student Life Francis Faehner, Provost Dr. Christon Arthur, and more than 40 students—some who listened intently to the changes they could look forward to in the Gazebo, and others who were simply waiting for the speech to end so they could the scavenge the free samples offered in celebration of this event.
To begin his speech, Daniels briefly described some of the changes that have already been made to the Gazebo, such as adding baked goods made from scratch and removing soda from the merchandise options. He then took a moment to affirm and thank each of his executive staff by name and publically commended them for their hard work and dedication to the process of putting this change to action.
Daniels said, “They work extra, work harder for us to make that a reality. Even today, I had a sea of people come and make sure everything was perfect, and they’ve already finished their day of work. We’ve got a special team, we’ve got a great group of people. Thank you for your help making this happen for us. We really appreciate human resources helping us to build such a wonderful team.”
Daniels also mentioned two primary changes to look forward to in the near future.
“The first one you’ll see very soon. In December, we’re going to start putting caloric information on our menu boards, for menu items that are served daily or more than 60 times per year, so the students can make a choice about how that matches up with their particular wellness initiative for themselves,” Daniels said. “And the second thing will be updating our catering menu, to offer FULLY ALIVE options and well as indulgent options.”
Following Daniel’s speech was an expression of thankfulness by University Health & Wellness Director Dominique Wakefield, who expressed her appreciation for the Dining Services team and their willingness to participate in the FULLY ALIVE transformation process. Then there was a brief prayer over Andrews University in terms of how we engage in wellness, the official ceremonial red ribbon was cut and participants were ushered inside to sample various Gazebo freebies, such as brownie bites, flavored water and chips with salsa.
Overall, students seemed engaged with the event and displayed high levels of positive feedback.
Serge Gedeon, Jr. (senior, English) said, “I was surprised at how seriously they took the grand opening. There were ribbons, free samples, photographers and a huge crowd. Even some of the higher-ups on campus made appearances. I’m so happy they took the Gazebo re-opening so seriously, and that they had fun with it too.”