Kent Dining Hall archway entrance, September 2006Food, females, and fun. Oh, how I loved Kent Dining Hall. 1992 was the year I was dating a girl who lived in Kent and then Warner, towards the end of the all-female South Central Virgin Vault era. So, I ate a good number of meals at Kent...surrounded by like, a ton of chicks.
Really though, I do think Kent was, and still is, the nicest of the UD dining halls. Has a lot of historic charm to it. Until a recent renovation, there were actually old books on the shelves in there, that they invited you to browse through and read. Now they have vases and stuff instead on the shelves. (Vases? 20th Century Blue Hen Dynasty?)
Kent was built in 1926, and as I understand it, was the first building on campus to specifically serve as a dining hall. If you ever lived on South Central, you probably ate at Kent quite a bit. And if you actually lived in Kent (the residence hall, that is), your walk to the dining hall was like 30 seconds; out one door, and through the other. That was it. Except of course during Winter Session, when Kent Dining Hall was shut!
Kent Dining Hall, R.I.P. Actually, I’ll use the term “being phased out,” at this time. Kent did indeed shut after the Spring 2015 semester, but is scheduled to reopen for a stretch in 2017. Thereafter it’ll close for good, but I don’t think we have anything to worry about with UD flattening the building or anything; it’s likely the space will be converted into a study lounge or event space. Hope that for the most part it stays intact, it’s a beautiful room!
“Kent Dining Hall. Oh, the MEMORIES. For three of my four years of college, living in North Central was sort of an odd situation, because it wasn't near any of the dining halls (unless you count Trabant...but you get sick of eating Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A all the time). So, somehow Kent became the dining hall of choice for me and my friends. At lunch time, often after a class, some of us would wait for each other on the brick steps leading up to the entrance before going inside.
At dinner time, one intrepid soul would head to Kent ahead of the others and scout for one of those long tables in the back for the ten to twelve of us. If the rest of us took too long to arrive, the person saving the table would get dirty looks from others looking for a place to sit.
The fattening macaroni and cheese and endless supply of Coca-Cola was instrumental in me gaining that college 15 or 20. And the pancake breakfasts! YUM. Oh, and during the time I was there, the books were still on those bookshelves.”
- Brenda, UD '02
“I lived on the third floor of Kent for two-and-a-half years, so I frequented Kent Dining Hall that entire time. I think for most of those years I was on a steady diet of grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, whatever the pasta of the day was (if it wasn't totally congealed into a hard lump under the heat lamps), and Cheerios.
Be that what it may have been, I loved Kent because I could eat that impressive diet any time during the day that I wanted. That was the major selling point (except for during Winter Session, when it was closed and we got banished to Russell). Kent was great because it was never that crowded -- you could always avoid busy times by just going slightly earlier or later -- and compared to the other dining halls it was clean. The food selection was really limited because of the size, but following those eating habits above, I was never disappointed.
I was a fan of the Thanksgiving dinner they had there; they'd always make a big fuss and bring in a catering-type set-up, complete with ice sculptures.”
- Sally G, UD '04
“My senior year ('73 - '74) I worked at Kent, mostly as a meal ticket checker. Back then, Kent was considered one of the better dining halls not just because of its smaller, more intimate size, but because the food was usually good. That was a great job, especially when I had the job of sitting by the back door to make sure no one sneaked in (wink wink); I got quite a bit of studying done there. My last semester, I lived on Madison Avenue, and usually walked or biked to Kent for work. I did occasionally work on the food lines and in the dish room, but most of my job time was being a meal checker! Couldn't ask for easier work.”
- Anonymous, UD '74
“Kent was great. It was also the easiest to sneak into when you ran out of meals on your card. Also, when we lived at Ivy Hall, it was just a hop, skip, and jump away. I remember cutting across that soccer field there back to our apartment with huge bowls of Cap'n Crunch mixed with frozen yogurt that we stole from the dining hall.”
- Keith, UD '98
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