Late-night breakfasts provide brain food and fun
Gina Williams knew the clock was ticking. It was 9:40 p.m. on the Tuesday of finals week, and the next day she would be tested on her recall of 200 Japanese vocabulary words, not to mention verbs and conjugations. She needed fuel for a few more hours of quality time with her Japanese 101 textbook, so she was wisely first in line for a heaping stack of pancakes at late-night breakfast.
“I’m a pancake addict,” Williams confessed. “This will make me happy and give me energy to study until 3 a.m.”
There is a magical energizing power of the now three-year-old late-night breakfast event served by Cornell staff and gobbled up by students starved for comforting food and study respite. Held three times a year, every student who shows up is greeted by name and encouraged, mom-style, to “eat up” and “pile it high.”
And the students do, inhaling an average of nearly 1,000 comforting calories at each special breakfast.
One hour, 1000 pancakes
It’s a party on both sides of the buffet line.
Cornell staff volunteers, in costumes fitting the event’s theme, (tie-dyed garb this time for “Peace, Love and Pancakes”) serve a happy, hungry mob. From 10 to 11 p.m., students come in for the mind and body refueling that pancakes, sausages, eggs, tater tots, donut holes and smoothies uniquely provide.
“It may be late for us, but it’s not really late for some of the students, evidently. They sure have appetites for that hour,” said John Harp, vice president for student affairs.
Held around each Halloween, winter break, and spring break, the extra meal gets plenty of appreciative customers, many of them waiting in line for the doors to open. Within 12 minutes of the most recent late-night breakfast, 200 students had been fed.
“It’s like they’ve never had pancakes at 10 p.m. before,” said Harp.
The feast, by the numbers
By evening’s end, 444 students had devoured 500 pounds of food, bringing the final tally to:
- 1,000 pancakes (with 70s inspired rainbow sprinkles mixed in, of course)
- 60 pounds of sausage links
- 120 pounds of scrambled eggs
- 150 pounds of tater tots
- 1,980 donut holes
- 4 gallons of syrup
- 25 gallons of smoothies
- 15 gallons of coffee
Mission accomplished. It’s not rocket science to know that the way to a frazzled student’s heart and brain is through their stomach. Cornell staff dish up the goodies when needed most, adding dollops of well wishes on top.