Graceland University Renews Partnership With Sodexo Food Services

A simulated image of what the Swarm Inn could look like in the newly renovated Newcom Student Union with the organizational logos of Graceland University and Sodexo

A simulated image of what the Swarm Inn could look like in the newly renovated Newcom Student Union, opening Spring 2020

Graceland University and Sodexo Food Services have renewed their partnership and, in turn, renewed their dual commitment to the Graceland student experience.

Graceland first contracted with Sodexo on the Lamoni campus for the 1998-99 school year. In March 2019, Graceland signed a 10-year contract with Sodexo, extending their services through June 30, 2029. This long-term partnership also includes investment funds paid by Sodexo in the amount of $2,000,000 to go toward Graceland dining locations: Floyd M. McDowell Commons and the Swarm Inn in the Newcom Student Union, formerly the Memorial Student Center, which is currently being renovated and will reopen in Spring 2020.

So far, these funds are planned for changes to the new Swarm Inn serving line, providing better traffic flow and shortened wait times. The money will also pay for new kitchen-line equipment, a freezer, cooler and dishwasher, and exciting infrastructure improvements for the new space in the completed Newcom Student Union. A makeover for the Commons dining area is planned for Summer 2020 with the remaining investment funds.

“My team and I are proud to continue the partnership between Sodexo and Graceland and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to help make the student experience one of excellence,” said Jeremy O’Neal, Sodexo Area General Manager and Director of Dining Services at Graceland. “Our goal is to continually drive engagement, recruitment and retention by improving the quality of life for the Graceland community. In the coming years we look forward to bringing consistent innovation to the dining program. There are lots of exciting things coming!”

Graceland is committed to a positive experience for its students. This renewed partnership with Sodexo is a testament to that commitment and will come with additional student learning and educational experiences with Sodexo as well, including work study and internship opportunities.

Additionally, Sodexo’s commitment to Graceland’s students will be evident in many other ways intended to create a student experience that retains students through improved international food selections, a commitment to seek and increase student voice through committees such as the student senate food committee and more.

“The first line in the Student Life compass statement is to ‘make Graceland a home for all students,’” shared Dave Schaal, Graceland Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. “The Sodexo leadership team understands that ‘home’ includes good food that people enjoy, and therefore the team is working hard to have ongoing communication with students about their dining preferences. In addition, the Sodexo manager is part of the Student Life directors team, which helps integrate the insights of the food service experience into the whole of the student experience.”