Serving Up a Caf News Sandwich

Posted more than a year ago.

I have some good news, some bad news, and some more good news for you today. I call that a news sandwich, which is pretty apropos since we’re talking about the big daddy of Thrive, our new cafeteria. Mmmm.

Good News

Okay, before I go anywhere else here, let me tell you something that gives me great delight. I’ve had Alfredo’s Mexican Café at my desk twice this week. Tacos, queso, guac, chips, the works. No, I didn’t order out. And I never drove over to Broadway and waited on a thing. I walked to our very own student center and snagged these delicious Tex-Mex goodies in a flash from our new Alfredo’s Express.

Alfredos OpeningAlfredo's Ribbon-Cutting, January 23, 2017

Beyond awesome, I know. Life will never be the same.

[hold please…I’m savoring]

Bad News

Okay, now that I’ve got some warm fuzzies dancing about my belly and I’m happily battling afternoon hibernation, let me get to the bad news—and I’ll rip the band-aid off quick. The price for Phase II of the cafeteria is going up once more, this time to $3 million.

I know that’s a significant increase. And, if you’re like me, it probably leaves you feeling a little gut-punched. I’m so sorry. I wish I had a really slick explanation to give you for the change, but the simple fact of the matter is that sometimes costs go beyond our expectations. (In rare moments like these, even far beyond our expectations.)

Am I happy with the increase? Not at all. I’ll shoot very straight and say that my blood has nearly boiled thinking about it over the last few weeks. But am I supportive of the increase? Absolutely. The long and short of it is that the cafeteria we promised can only be built at this price--and we see our commitments through, even when the goal line moves.

This means we’re not slowing down. We’re speeding up. And we’ll be working on overdrive to potentially break ground in summer 2017.

Good News

Oh, here's the beauty of the news sandwich, I get to end on a high note (and it’s a scrumptious one). Our in-house project team, along with our partners at CMS Willowbrook and GSB Architecture, have nearly finalized the plans for our new cafeteria.

Want to see them?




Do you?


(Sorry, I have a three-year-old.)

Here. They. Are.

Serving Area

Our new serving area, featuring made-to-order eats with a contemporary vibe. Want to see the food options in more detail? Click here.

Dining Area

Our new eating area, styled like a restaurant and featuring a pretty glorious view of the Freede Clock Tower. 


Our new exterior, looking mighty fine and mighty bold out on the Lawson Commons.


The cafeteria from above, which totals 17,000 square feet of new food and dining options, including come-and-go seating that’s open all hours of the day. (Oh, and a sports grill area with big screen TVs. Oh, and a Mongolian grill. Oh, AND 12-foot tall windows.) Want to see more detail? Click here.

It’s okay if you’re tearing up. I am, too.

I know the meat of today’s sandwich might have been hard to swallow, but I hope the whole thing went down smooth. Seeing is believing. And now that you’ve seen the dream, I’m sure you can get why we have our fundraising ovens dialed up to the max.

Pray hard. We're doing this! More soon.