On Friday afternoon, Butterfield Dining Hall was given an official grand re-opening after the completion of the last outdoor and rooftop construction.

At the grand opening University of Rhode Island faculty, staff, students and distinguished guests, including URI President David Dooley, enjoyed a wide selection of food intended to showcase the new Butterfield menu. Options offered in the menu included the student-favorite chicken nuggets, a new burrito station, a newly-installed pizza station and quesadillas.

Dr. Thomas Dougan, vice president for Student Affairs, welcomed guests to the grand re-opening celebration with some fun facts about the dining hall. He said that since its opening this fall, Butterfield has served over 700 burritos per day and over 6,000 pounds of chicken nuggets. “You just can’t make that up,” he said.

Dougan said the renovation increased Butterfield’s capacity from 350 people to 560 people, and achieved the ‘green’ target of LEED silver certification.

Joe Essig/The Good Five Cent Cigar
Joe Essig/The Good Five Cent Cigar

Mary E. Howard, an alumnus from the university’s 1975 class and former Butterfield employee, recalled a memory of the annual Butterfield food fight. “Even the URI dining hall staff knew about it . . . everybody sat down, [and] no one took one bite,” she said. “It was over in a minute . . . but students would come out covered head to toe [in mashed potatoes].”

However, Howard said sometimes, “The new can’t always replace the old” and produced an old Butterfield glass that has “been in [her] kitchen for 44 years, and actually bounces off the floor.” Howard made sure to tell president Dooley that, “Even though it’s stolen, you’re not getting it back.”  

Steven Mello, director of Dining and Retail Food Operations commented on Howard’s food fight memory to much laughter from the audience. “Food fights . . . only happen now when there are five mozzarella sticks left and three students in line,” he said. Mello thanked the staff from housing, dining services and members of the construction team for their respective contributions in making the bigger, better Butterfield a reality. Dooley concluded the speaking program with a thank you to Dougan for his “dedication and vision for making this campus a better place for all of us.”