At the many events held on campus throughout the year, Great Western Dining plays a major role as the university's caterer and dining service provider.
Cardinal Newman Week alone consisted of 16 events: the Homecoming dance and basketball games, the Cardinal Newman Banquet, Cardinal Newman’s Birthday, Senior Day, four Board of Trustee events, National Alumni Board meetings, Mission Talks and five other external events.
Great Western Dining catered them all.
Chris Heck, the man behind Great Western Dining's operations said, "Pulling everything together in one week was a major task."
“Having this many events can be trying," Heck said. "On Friday, my staff and I cleaned up three events, ran three events and set up three events all in the same night. My staff really stepped up to make it happen. They did a great job.”
Heck said they served a vast range of meals -- "from salty snacks to hors d'oeuvres to full banquets with braised brisket with a mushroom sauce.”
The number of attendees for the week's events was expected except for one for which Heck and his crew must always be ready. Thankfully they were, as they served more than 1,500 extra meals over the entire week of celebrations.
One of the largest attended and catered events was the Cardinal Newman Banquet. Six Newman University students were involved in helping Heck and his crew. Heck said he wanted it to be known that the student volunteers were a major help and fantastic to work with.
This was an exhausting week for the catering staff, though homecoming was a great way to top off the week.
“[Student Life Coordinator] Mic Brunner and the students were so positive... the night just flew by. We had a lot of fun at the homecoming dance,” Heck said.