Students “absolutely blown away” over renovated dining hall

August 23, 2019

By Bob Holmes

The students are back at CIU and so is “The Wow Factor” with the first meal in the renovated $4 million CIU Dining Hall.  

“All my expectations are absolutely blown away,” said CIU Student Body President Andrew McNeill as he sat at a long table with several excited friends.

Both returning students and new students were wide-eyed as they took in the new surroundings and the delicious variety of food choices provided by Hallmark Dining Services. Everyone ate for free at the grand opening.

“I was expecting something cool, but this is mind-blowing,” added McNeil. “All the food and the details feel gourmet. It feels like everything a much larger university would have.”

Guests are greeted with a multi-station elliptical that has expanded nutritional options to meet the diverse culinary needs of local and international students. There were a variety of freshly prepared pizzas — a new pie coming out of the oven every few minutes. A local Carolina favorite — Perlow — a rice and sausage mix, was available as well as other popular choices such popcorn chicken and a large salad bar that student Gloria Book enjoyed.  

“It had so many things on it, and I couldn’t get anything else — I was so overwhelmed with choices,” Book shouted. She washed it down with Tropi-cicle Chiller — fresh pineapple and orange juice whipped together with sweet cream.

Students also enjoy new seating, including a variety of upholstered banquettes and high-top community tables. New Dining Hall hours are 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. assisting those students with busy schedules. Modernized meeting rooms are still available.   

Meanwhile, faculty and staff are impressed with the food options. Two professors were overheard exiting the dining hall. One said to the other while pointing to his own stomach, “You know that weight I lost over the summer …? The second replied, “We’re getting the ‘Freshman l5!’” referring to the old joke about new college students gaining weight their first year on campus.

Columbia International University ranks #1 among colleges and universities in South Carolina by BestColleges.com. Excitement is growing on campus with CIU’s first baseball program in development, and online with CIU’s new Ph.D. in Organizational LeadershipRequest information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.