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Freed-Hardeman University Breaks Ground on New Dining Hall that will include Chick-fil-A®

·3 min read

Both the dining hall and the Chick-fil-A® will welcome and serve the public, along with FHU faculty, staff and students.

HENDERSON, Tenn., Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Freed-Hardeman University President David R. Shannon led the campus community in hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for FHU's new dining hall Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. The dining hall will include a licensed Chick-fil-A® location; both the dining hall and the Chick-fil-A® will welcome and serve the public, along with FHU faculty, staff and students.

"Dining together creates wonderful moments for families. This dining hall will create tremendous opportunities to nurture community, memories and a new partnership," Shannon said. "The Freed-Hardeman family is thankful and excited about the future. Glory be to God!"

The dining hall is scheduled to open in January 2024. The dining hall facility will be a 21,148-square-foot new building, located between Brown-Kopel Business Center and the Gardner Center. It will include a commercial kitchen, dining room, outdoor seating and Chick-fil-A®. In addition, there will be a lower level Lion's Den that will provide additional space for students and special events.

This new facility is part of the FHU NEXT campaign, a campus-wide renovation and building program. Already FHU NEXT has funded the renovation of Paul Gray Hall (re-opened as a men's dorm this year) and has provided major improvements to the Rayla Tucker Softball Field, Walker Patterson Soccer Field and Five Wells Baseball Field (with artificial turf).

Plans are underway to renovate Loyd Auditorium and to convert the current dining hall to the ATPI Center for Digital Innovation inside the Dr. Elizabeth Saunders Center, which will accommodate at least nine new academic programs. This year, the university added a physical therapist assistant program and a Doctor of Ministry. The FHU NEXT campaign's original fundraising goal was $101.5 million; however, it now has reached more than $108 million, with additional funds still being given to achieve objectives.

"The FHU NEXT campaign is focused on improving our students' experience," said Dave Clouse, FHU Vice President for Community Engagement. "The new dining hall will be a great enhancement to their daily life and make our already excellent meals even more enjoyable."

Freed-Hardeman Class of 1957 alumni John W. and Rosemary K. Brown are major donors to these projects through their family foundation, which has benefited FHU students in many ways over the years. The John and Rosemary Brown Family Foundation focuses its efforts on education because the Browns believe education is the path to success.

"When you move away from a campus, often it becomes past history but for us, it's living history. We continue to live that through the current students, current faculty and current administration," Rosemary Brown said. "We feel it's a very special relationship."

The Browns said they remember spending time at the College Inn, a small building on the corner of campus, while they were students. "They had the best hamburgers and hot dogs in the world," Rosemary Brown said. "We wish we were FHU students again, so we could take advantage of the good food Chick-fil-A® will offer students who will make Henderson their college home!"

Speaking on behalf of the student body, FHU Student Government Association President Kayley Wadlington said, "We are grateful to John and Rosemary Brown and all of the donors who are funding these remarkable additions to FHU's campus!"

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associates, bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral degrees. More information is available at fhu.edu.

Media Contact

Dawn Bramblett, Freed-Hardeman University, 731-608-7650, dawn@bramblettgrp.com

SOURCE Freed-Hardeman University