Chick-fil-A, coffee shop are prelude to new café

By Wes McKinzie

Oklahoma Christian University will be home to Chick-fil-A this fall.

Food service provider U Dining acquired the license to operate a full-service Chick-fil-A Express opening in OC’s Gaylord University Center this fall.

“I am so excited that Chick-fil-A is coming to Oklahoma Christian,” U Dining president Kurt Hermanson said. “I knew we would be able to open a Chick-fil-A restaurant here at OC someday. Our values, faith and culture are a perfect blend, making this a great fit. Persistence and hard work brought Chick-fil-A to our home.”

“The new Chick-Fil-A and coffee shop are going to be great on-campus additions this year, but I’m thrilled with how we’ll be able to enhance students’ dining options even more in the years to come.” John deSteiguer

Chick-fil-A’s snack bar space ultimately will be adjacent to OC’s future campus café, set to be constructed as a spacious addition to the northwest corner of the Gaylord University Center, looking out on Lawson Commons, the McGraw Pavilion and the Freede Centennial Tower.

Opening in the second floor atrium of OC’s Mabee Learning Center later this year, the coffee shop will feature a relaxing gathering area and collaborative study rooms.

The Chick-fil-A Express, coffee shop, and a future campus café are funded through $5.6 million pledged toward OC’s student dining facilities.

“We’re excited to make an on-campus Chick-fil-A location happen for our students. They love Chick-fil-A,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “The new Chick-Fil-A and coffee shop are going to be great on-campus additions this year, but they’re just the first steps in our overall food service upgrade for our students, more than 80 percent of whom live right here on campus. I’m thrilled with how we’ll be able to enhance students’ dining options even more in the years to come.”

OC reached the fundraising goal thanks to a $1 million donation by U Dining, a $1 million grant from the Mabee Foundation, and more than $3 million in additional support from individuals, families and foundations. The funding includes $275,000 that an anonymous donor allowed OC students to allocate by popular vote; they chose the campus café.

“This was the ideal fundraising project. Our students wanted an enhanced dining experience and comfortable, caffeinated friendship space, and our donors generously invested to make it happen,” deSteiguer said. “The new dining facility and coffee shop will make our park-like campus even more like home for our students, faculty, staff and guests.”

The new café will allow Oklahoma Christian to preserve its existing banquet hall, which hosts special events for the university and the surrounding community throughout the year. The construction timeline will be announced at a later date.

“We are so grateful to our donors for making this project a reality,” Vice President for Advancement Kent Allen said. “This is a game changer for our campus community.”

Thirteen projects have been fully funded through OC’s Thrive campaign since its launch in June 2014. Almost 8,000 donors have given almost $26 million overall toward this student-focused endeavor, which emphasizes building projects and programmatic efforts that quickly and directly impact OC’s campus experience and spiritual environment.

“As students, we’re very excited for the many opportunities being made available to us through the Thrive projects,” student body president Zekariah McNeal said. “Students know that projects such as the new café and coffee shop will help make our campus culture even better in future years. We’re thankful and excited for what is to come.”

More information about donating toward Thrive initiatives is available at oc.edu/thrive.



Summer 2016

View more stories from the Summer 2016 issue of Vision magazine.