Washington and Lee Dining Services ends the semester with special holiday events

Dining Services will host five planned meals over one week to put students and the community in the holiday spirit


W&L student enjoys the wide-ranging dessert spread at the Winter Wonderland event in Evans Hall, following the themed dinner held in Marketplace. Photo courtesy of @wludining Instragram.

Jess Kishbaugh

The final week of classes was a busy one for Washington and Lee Dining Services.

Kicking off with the Winter Wonderland event on Dec. 7, Dining Services planned five events running through the Midnight Breakfast event on Dec. 14. These events include the Winter Wonderland dinner, the dessert event taking place at Evans Hall, the Traditional Holiday Meal, National Cocoa Day and Midnight Breakfast.

The Winter Wonderland event took place in the Marketplace dining hall and invited students, faculty, staff and families to join in the meal. 

“Winter Wonderland was created as a way for the entire community to come together for the night. Marketplace hosts a child-friendly meal early that evening before the tree lighting at Lee House,” said Ryan Miller, the director of dining services.. “After the tree lighting, the crowd moves across the street to indulge in every sweet treat that we can pull together.”

The desert for the Winter Wonderland meal filled the room in Evans Hall with hot chocolate, candy, cupcakes, ice cream, trail mix and just about every treat imaginable. The hall was decorated in lights and garland, which took staff around a week and a half to complete.

The next event that took place was the Traditional Holiday Meal in the Marketplace. This is not only popular among students, but, according to Miller, this meal is a favorite to produce among dining hall staff. 

“The Traditional Holiday Meal is exciting for us because of the menu itself and also how many guests we serve,” Miller said. “In a typical year we serve 1,200 people during the three and half hours we are open.”

These events take a lot of work behind-the-scenes. Much of the planning for the Traditional Holiday Meal was done all the way back in the summer months. 

“I was in the dish room for the Holiday Dinner, so everything that usually takes one person takes two people and it’s always  so busy and it takes getting used to,” said Dining Services work-study student Josh Caraballo, ’25. “In the end it’s pretty fun because you always have something to do.”

There will be two more dining events during the final exam period: National Cocoa Day and Midnight Breakfast. 

On Dec. 13, National Hot Cocoa Day, a station will be set up during lunch and dinner at the Marketplace for students to make their own hot chocolate with their meals. 

That night, starting at 10 p.m., the Marketplace will reopen with senior administrators helping to serve breakfast items until midnight. Menu items may include pancakes, eggs, french toast, bacon, acai bowls and a doughnut station. 

After Midnight Breakfast, the big Dining Services events will be over for the semester, but Dining Services will continue serving meals to students until it closes on on Dec. 18.

The events over the final week of classes have been exciting, but don’t forget to thank the Dining Services staff members for all the hard work they’ve put in to make these last few meals of the term special.

“The credit for these events should really go to the 200 people that make Dining Services what it is,” said Miller. “Just like W&L is a special place for our students, know that our staff feels the same way.”