Montana State University

MSU’s Miller Dining Commons wins grand prize in international dining awards competition

August 10, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Miller Dining Commons won the grand prize for residential dining concepts in the international Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards, as well as the gold award for large school settings. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.Students enjoy a lunch in the grand prize-winning Miller Dining Commons. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

Miller Dining Commons won the grand prize for residential dining concepts in the international Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards, as well as the gold award for large school settings. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN – Montana State University’s Miller Dining Commons was recently awarded the grand prize for residential dining concepts in the National Association of College and University Food Services’ annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards.

The Horton awards recognize excellence among campus dining professionals across North America and are given in several categories covering residential dining, retail sales and catering. Winners are recognized at the NACUFS national conference, with grand prize winners being featured in the national magazine “Campus Dining Today.”

“The prize reaffirms what we had been experiencing from our current and prospective students and parents in the form of accolades and praise for a unique contemporary setting and great food,” said Thomas Stump, director of MSU Auxiliary Services.

“Being recognized for our accomplishments by a committee that is made up of college food service experts from around the country is very humbling,” said Mike Kosevich, general manager of MSU’s University Food Services. “It also speaks to the commitment we have made to our students in continuing to be progressive with providing great service and quality food.”

“Over the past year, we’ve given tours of the facility to design firms from across the United States and Canada,” Stump said. “The recognition will certainly further MSU’s exposure on a national and international level, which is actually part of the goal of the awards themselves.”

MSU was one of more than 80 colleges and universities from across North America to submit entries to the competition. Miller Dining Commons won the gold award for residential dining concepts in a large school setting before being named the grand prize winner in the category.

The dining facility was built in 1964-65 as part of the Hedges residence halls complex. It received a major renovation of the seating areas in the 1980s, but maintained the traditional food preparation and serving style until 2011, when it received a complete makeover that not only changed the seating areas, but food preparation and menu as well.

The newest remodel is a more contemporary setting, with food being prepared and served in the open rather than in a separate kitchen area. Miller Dining Commons now includes more seating options, with high-topped tables and booths replacing the old long laminate tables. It also includes a coffee bar and secluded eating areas where students can study or enjoy the view. The menu also includes a greater variety of foods and flavors with healthier options.

Roughly 7,500 meals per day are now served in the renovated facility, according to Todd Jutila, director of University Food Services. Jutila expects that the coming year will see the number of meals served increase to more than 9,000.    

Contact: Tom Stump, Auxiliary Services, (406) 994-2661 or stump@montana.edu