Vanderbilt Campus Dining has won many awards for excellence in food preparation and management. Here are some of the more recent awards we have won.

  • Inclusive Employer Award – Campus Dining, 2018 (The Arc of Tennessee)
  • Gold Award – Catering Special Event (The Wond’ry), 2017 (NACUFS)
  • Bronze Medal, NACUFS Regional Culinary Challenge, Sous Chef Austin Irvin, March 2017
  • Best Colleges for Food #13, 2016 (
  • Best Campus Food #15, 2016 (Princeton Review)
  • Best Catering Special Event, Blanc, 2016 (NACUFS)
  • Honorable Mention Catering Website, 2016, (NACUFS)
  • Gold Medal, NACUFS Regional Culinary Challenge, Sous Chef Brian Hancock, March 2016
  • Ranked #6 on “2016 Top 25 Best Dining Halls in America”, 2016
  • Ranked #14 on 75 Best Colleges for Food, 2015
  • Ranked in Top 25 Colleges that Offer Unusually Good Food, 2015
  • Award for Concept – Bamboo Bistro, 2015 (NACUFS)
  • Silver Medal ACF National Championship Collegiate Dining Challenge, Chefs Aaron Dilts and Brian Hancock, 2015 (ACF)
  • Ranked #15 on 75 Best Colleges for Food, 2014
  • Ranked among Nation’s Healthiest in College Dining, 2014
  • Ranked #35 in Top 52 Colleges for Food, 2014 (Daily Meal)
  • Towers Market/Rocket Subs – “Best in the Business” Campus C-Store Award for excellence in the Foodservice, 2014 (NACUFS)
  • Silver Medal ACF National Championship Collegiate Dining Challenge, Chef Clay Cornwell & Aaron Dilts, 2014 (ACF)
  • Second Place in the Music City Mystery Basket Competition – Chef Justin Eaton & Johnny Woods, 2014
  • Best Retail Sales – Multiple Concepts – Rand Dining Center, 2014 (NACUFS)
  • Regional Culinary Challenge Bronze Winner, Chef Tom Allen, 2014 (NACUFS)
  • “Leaders in Retail Foodservice Award” 2013 presented by FARE Magazine
  • Vanderbilt Received an A on the Vegan Report Card, 2013, (Peta)
  • Greenest Group on Campus, 2013 (Vanderbilt University)
  • Bronze Medal ACF National Championship Collegiate Dining Challenge, Chef John Kelly & Aaron Dilts, 2013 (ACF)
  • Chefs of Tomorrow Award, 2012 presented by Olson Communications
  • Ranked #6 in “Best Universities for Food Lovers”, 2012 (
  • Best Special Event – Viva Las Vandy, 2012 (NACUFS)
  • Best Catering Event – Farm to Fork, 2012 (NACUFS)
  • Best Concept Award – Best Renovation – Chef James Bistro, 2009 (Food Management)
  • Best Special Event – SS Rand, 2009 (NACUFS)
  • Best Concept – Chef James Bistro, 2009 (NACUFS)
  • Best Residence Hall Dining – The Commons at Vanderbilt University, 2009 (NACUFS)
  • Best Concept – Lunch Paper, 2008 (NACUFS)
  • Best Special Event – SS Rand, 2008 (NACUFS)
  • People’s Choice Award – Lunch Paper, 2008 (NACUFS)
  • People’s Choice Award – Nectar, 2007 (NACUFS)
  • Best in the Business – Nectar, 2007 (NACUFS)
  • Best Concept – Nectar, 2007 (NACUFS)
  • Best Convenience Retailing – Nectar, 2007 (Food Management)
  • Best in the Business – Ro*Tiki, 2006 (NACUFS)
  • Best On-site concept – Ro*Tiki, 2006 (Food Management)
  • Best Concept – Ro*Tiki, 2005 (NACUFS)
  • Best Special Event for SS Rand – Rand Dining Center, 2004 (NACUFS)
  • Best Residence Hall Dining – Rand Dining Center, 2004 (NACUFS)
  • Best Culinary Chef – Executive Chef Camp Howard, 2002 (First place in the 8th Annual Chef Culinary Conference ACF Sanctioned Team Competition July 2002)
  • Best Service – Frank Gladu, 2002 (Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award – NACUFS)
  • Best Meal Plan Special Event, 2001 (NACUFS)
  • Best Meal Plan, 2001 & 2002 (NACUFS)
  • Best Training Table in America 1997, 1999, 2002 & 2003 (Sports Illustrated)
  • Best Retail Market Menu – Varsity Marketplace, 1999 (NACUFS)
  • Best Operator of the Year – Frank Gladu, 1999 (International Foodservice Manufacturers Assoc. Silver Plate Award)
  • Best On-site Concept – Rand Dining Center, 1998 (Food Management Magazine)
  • Best Retail Center Menu – Rand Dining Center, 1998 (NACUFS)
  • Best on-site food service operation in the nation for 1997, (Restaurants & Institutions Magazine “Ivy Award”)

The Daily Meal has tracked down the 75 best colleges for food in America and Vanderbilt University comes in at #14.


The following is my aggregated list of the top 25 colleges known for offering unusually good food in their different food services, dining rooms, cafeterias, coffee houses, etc.:


“Vanderbilt’s food is really above and beyond what you get at most college cafeterias. Most of the food is fresh, made in-house, and there is a huge amount of variety in the choices offered.”

Read more:

Vanderbilt #35 in Top 52 Colleges for Food

Posted on August 27th, 2014

Best colleges for food in America according to the Daily Meal .

Vanderbilt Campus Dining among Nation’s Healthiest in College Dining

Posted on August 20th, 2014

Traditionally, the words “college dining hall” have conjured up images of limp cheese sandwiches, overcooked pasta, and mystery meat Mondays. However, many colleges have recently upped their dining game, serving… read more

Vanderbilt Campus Dining #15 on 75 Best Colleges for Food

Posted on August 14th, 2014

College can be tough, and we mean really tough. With tests and book lists and what seem like endless assignments, college students today have a lot of stress to deal… read more

College and University Foodservice Innovators: Vanderbilt University

Posted on July 9th, 2014

See the story about Vanderbilt Campus Dining!


Campus Dining Chefs win Bronze

Posted on April 1st, 2014

Catering Chef, Tom Allen won Bronze at the National Association of College & University Food Service (NACUFS) Regional Culinary Challenge on March 26. The Culinary Challenge recognizes outstanding food preparation… read more

Campus Dining’s Camp Howard

Posted on November 11th, 2013

Campus Dining’s Director, Camp Howard, on the cover of industry magazine, Food Management.

Vanderbilt received an A on the Vegan Report Card from Peta2

Posted on November 11th, 2013

Vegan food is more popular than ever on college campuses. We surveyed thousands of colleges and universities across the country about how well they’re keeping up with the demand for… read more

Campus Dining the Greenest Group on Campus!

Posted on October 21st, 2013

During the month of October, dozens of universities across the country participated in the 2013  Game Day Recycling Challenge . In 2012, 79 participating schools with 5.4 million collective fans diverted more than 1 million pounds… read more


Other Dining Awards

  • Restaurant and Industry Ivy Award of Distinction* – Frank X. Gladu & Vanderbilt (1997)
  • From Mind to Menu Visionary Award (1998)
  • The Men’s Sports Illustrated “Best Training Table in America” (1997)
  • Women’s Sports Illustrated “Best Training Table In America” (1999)
  • NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Awards for Rand Dining Center (1998), Varsity Beach Market (1999), Rand Dinner Plan-Special Event (2001) and Rand Dinner Plan (2001 & 2002)
  • Silver Plate Award** – Frank X. Gladu (1999)
  • “25 Up & Coming Food Service Operators” – Shawn LaPean (2000)
  • President’s Award-Shawn LaPean & the Vanderbilt Team (2001)
*The Ivy Award is the food service industry’s original accolade and is recognized throughout the food service industry to be a lifetime achievement award. Ivy Award judges include 174,000 food service professionals. Ivy Society members represent less than .007 percent of total food service industry operations.
**The Silver Plate Award is given each year to one individual from each major segment of food service to be the “Operator of the Year” and bestows the Silver Plate Award to that individual. The award recognizes professionals who have demonstrated foodservice industry segment leadership, noteworthy achievements, and contributions to the industry.
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