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Turner Place at Lavery Hall lauded as country's best new dining facility


   

Chef with pizza Atomic Pizzeria is one of eight popular restaurants in Turner Place at Lavery Hall.

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 23, 2013 – Virginia Tech’s acclaimed Dining Services has once again earned top honors. 

Turner Place at Lavery Hall won the Grand Award for the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards in the category of Retail Sales – Multiple Concepts/Marketplace Design. The acknowledgement of excellence by the National Association of College and University Food Services recognized Turner Place at Lavery Hall as the best new dining facility in the country. 

Judging criteria included services, facility design, menu, marketing, nutrition, wellness, customer satisfaction, and sustainability. Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services; Brian Grove, associate director for Dining Services; and John Barrett, assistant director for Turner Place at Lavery Hall accepted the honor at the NACUFS national conference July 13.

“Eight years ago, we set forth a goal to work with the Student Government Association, Student Advisory Committee, general student population, university officials, the Division of Student Affairs leadership, Dining Service’s staff, and outside entities to create the finest dining facility in the country,” said Faulkner. “It was a complex journey, but the focus on uncompromised excellence stayed true in the process.  I believe the Virginia Tech campus community knows it has something very special in Turner Place at Lavery Hall. Now the nation is recognizing that at the highest levels in the industry.”

Dining Services was also awarded an Honorable Mention in the category of Residential Dining – Special Event for “Dinner on the Titanic,” a themed dinner event held last spring. “Dinner on the Titanic” commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage and included recipes served aboard the ship. The event also featured a trivia game and a museum area displaying period fashions from the Oris Glisson Historic Costume and Textile Collection in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Virginia Tech holds nearly 40 special dining events throughout the school year to add interesting and educational experiences to the regular dining schedule. Upcoming special events for the 2013-14 academic year include a tribute to local ingredients and the annual Chili Challenge.

One of the most prestigious competitions in collegiate foodservice, the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards contest is a highly competitive peer recognition program. The awards recognize exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning, and dining concepts, and provide an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations. It is open to all 550 higher education institutions that are members of NACUFS. Dining Services has earned 40 Horton awards since 1992, in addition to other national accolades for programs, facilities, menus, and sales.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.