Old College dining room - 1806
For the first 25 years of the university's existence, students took their meal on campus in commons, a carry-over from the college tradition of the late eighteenth century. Supervised and managed by a steward responsible for the preparation and serving of meals, the commons appears to have offered a remarkably varied menu according to an early newspaper notice. Students at breakfast could look forward to "a sufficiency of wholesome cold meats with wheat flour biscuit, or light loaf bread, butter, and tea or coffee." For dinner (lunch) the menu included "a course of bacon, or salted beef, with a suitable proportion of corn bread and fresh meats, such as beef, pork, mutton, or fowls, at least two kinds of vegetables, and at dinner on each Wednesday...an after course of pies, puddings, or pancakes with suitable sauces." Supper would bring only a "plentiful supply of tea or milk with a sufficiency of wheat flour biscuit and butter."
In 1810 a year's board cost nine dollars.
Since then, the University has used many facilities to provide food service for students here at UGA. Many of these buildings are presently being used for academic and office purposes. The oldest dining facility still in operation is Snelling Dining Commons, constructed in 1939, and is still serving meals today.
Many things have changed over the years. The University used to feed 50 students a day while today, 30,000 meals are served daily at the dining locations. Food choices were limited when room and board was first offered, but the menu today is extensive and the food choices rival the offerings of a five-star restaurant.
In 1995, UGA Dining Services was awarded the prestigious Ivy Award for Excellence. This accolade is used to recognize the most outstanding restaurants and foodservice operations in the country for their commitment to quality and excellence. In 2002, the department received the Food Service Operator of the Year Award. UGA Dining Services is one of the few organizations to recieve both of these accolades.
In 2004, the Department was awarded its 50th Loyal E. Horton Menu Award for Excellence by the National Association of college and University Dining Services.