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Two MHC Buildings Garner LEED Award for Green Design

Influential Scholar to Speak at MHC on “Stereotype Threat”

Weissman Center Offers Fall Series on 2004 Presidential Election

New Dining and Catering Options Offered This Fall at Blanchard

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This Week at MHC

Mount Holyoke College News and Events Vista The College Street Journal Archives

September 10, 2004

New Dining and Catering Options Offered This Fall at Blanchard

A movable feast

Booking for a new venue for your next department meeting luncheon, a colleague’s retirement party, or your book club’s holiday gathering? Look no further. Starting this fall, the Blanchard Campus Center will offer a variety of catering options to the Mount Holyoke community. With three large events—a 220-person wedding, a South Hadley high school class reunion, and a benefit gala for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts—under its belt, dining services has designed a range of catering menus to fit any and all palates and pocketbooks.

“We were thrilled with every aspect of our event at Blanchard. The service couldn’t have been better,” said MHC director of publications Tekla McInerney, one of the organizers of the Women’s Fund gala. “Rebecca [Joyner, Blanchard’s evening café manager and event planner] and her staff went out of their way to accommodate us.”

To showcase the various banquet options, dining services is planning a catering open house in Blanchard for faculty and staff in mid-October. The MHC community will get an idea of the kinds of events dining services can help them plan and what they can expect to see, be it a business luncheon meeting or a personal catered event. Faculty and staff will also get to see and sample some of the menu items. More detailed information will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

“Blanchard Campus Center lends itself to a variety of catering venues for indoor and outdoor events, and the views it offers are spectacular,” said Dale Hennessey, director of dining services. “Because Blanchard is a student center and a board-plan option for most of the year [as well as] a conference site in the summer, certain time constraints and challenges limit us to the kinds of catering venues that we are able to offer. As we continue to get requests for catered events, the need to assess the appropriate balance of successfully executing those catering venues without compromising student programs and dining or conferences is of utmost importance.”

Dining services has also expanded Blanchard’s daily menu to attract more faculty and staff. The new salad sensations station will offer three standards—Mary Lyon garden greens, classic Caesar, and spinach—and two specialty seasonal salads that will change weekly. In addition to a gamut of hot and cold items, there will be daily specials at both the grill and deli stations.

The brick oven station will still serve specialty pizzas as well as calzones, empanadas, foccacia, meatball subs, and stromboli. Personal pizzas will be available from 2 pm to closing. For busy faculty and staff, “home replacement” meals, better known as “takeout” or “grab-and-go,” will be available with advanced notice.

“We thoroughly enjoyed seeing faculty and staff dining with us this past summer and want to continue to see them during the academic year,” said Hennessey. “The faculty and staff certainly seemed to enjoy getting together over lunch with colleagues who they normally do not get to see or with their coworkers. Hopefully, with the helpful hints for avoiding long lines and the crowds in the Café, the new additions to our menus, and the various dining venues offered at Uncommon Grounds and the Atrium Café, we will become a regular lunch dining venue.”

Dining services has created several new dining programs to help minimize waiting time. For “Beat the Rush,” Hennessey suggests that diners arrive at Blanchard Café before noon or shortly thereafter for lunch and before 5:30 pm for dinner. For “After the Rush,” if your schedule permits, it’s best to wait until 12:45–1 pm for lunch and until after 8:30 pm for dinner. Common Grounds will continue its express lunch featuring soup, salad, and sandwich combos from 11 am to 3 pm. A 10-percent discount will be offered on all purchases anytime faculty and staff use their MHCXpress account at the Blanchard Café and Uncommon Grounds.

The Atrium Café in Kendade Hall will offer sandwiches and grinders from 11 am to 2 pm, Monday–Friday. In addition to a range of soft drinks, coffee will also be available this year. A separate line for faculty and staff will help those in a hurry.

For those needing just a snack, Cub’s Corner, the convenience store located on Blanchard’s ground floor, offers a typical variety of convenience store items, including bottled beverages, snacks, microwavable items, health and beauty aids, sundries, novelty ice cream, and candy.

For more information about the new dining and catering options, go to



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