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The Evolution of UNC Dining Services

Dining Services is a large department comprised of many different locations spread out all over campus. We have a vast history here at UNC, and we wanted to share a little of it with you!

The legacy of Arnie’s Snack Shop began in the fall of 1985, when the first pizza was sold in McCowen Hall under the direction of Charles Wilson and Arnold Waddel. In fact, the name Arnie’s came from its first manager, Arnold Waddel.

In 1986, a new student management team took over Arnie’s. From that point on, Arnie’s ingredients and recipes were standardized to develop our campus-wide popular menu. Arnie’s signature menu items include calzones, pizzas, and bread sticks. Also in 1986, Arnie’s not only delivered to West Campus but to Central Campus, as well.

In 1987, Arnie’s began the charge system for McCowen residents only. By Fall of 1988, Arnie’s expanded its charge system to all students living on campus. Spring Semester 1993, Arnie’s opened a new location on Central Campus for delivery only.

By 1996, Arnie’s established itself as an in-house pizza brand and was introduced at the University Center food court. The delivery and charge programs were dropped in the same year in favor of promoting Arnie’s new location at the University Center.

Arnie’s is a progressive establishment with a strong student team behind it. Since 1986, Arnie’s has been “run by students for students.” Its mission is to create a dynamic atmosphere focusing on student programming and quality food for the University of Northern Colorado students and staff.

Dining Services at the University of Northern Colorado is a member of NACUFS, the National Association of College and University Food Services, Continental Region.

What Is NACUFS?

"The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) is the trade association for food service professionals at over 650 institutions of higher education in the United States, Canada and abroad. Founded in 1958, NACUFS provides members with a full-range of educational programs, publications, management services, and networking opportunities. In addition to colleges and universities, over 425 industry suppliers are members of the association. These companies exhibit at national and regional showcases, serve on standing committees and participate in various educational conferences. NACUFS is governed by a board of directors and six regional councils and uses volunteer committees, project teams and professional staff to deliver service to its members." (source:  www.nacufs.org)


UNC Dining Services has several staff members who have been actively involved in NACUFS, now and in the past.

  • Hal Brown, our Director, served as President for 2 years, and most recently as Past-President.
  • Chef Aran Essig received the 2003 Region VIII President's Award for his contributions to the 2003 Region VIII Culinary Challenge at the Regional Conference held in Calgary. This is UNC Dining Service's 2nd President's Award in a row. 
  • Dining Services received the 2002 Region VIII President's Award for our Conference Committee/Staff's contribution to making the 2002 Regional Conference the best yet.
  • At the 2003 Regional Conference, UNC's very own TK Cook, Michele Rogers won FIRST PLACE and an American Culinary Federation Gold Medal for her dish.  That gave Michele the right to go to the National NACUFS Conference in Kansas City this past month.  Michele did a great job representing Region VIII and UNC by winning 3rd place, along with a Bronze ACF medal.