CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Housing and Dining Services has been named the 2009 Ivy Award winner by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine for its demonstration of the highest standard of excellence in food, service and overall hospitality.

The award places the university’s program in the company of internationally recognized restaurants ranging from French Laundry to Le Cirque, and is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry.

The award was established in 1971 as a way for industry professionals to honor colleagues and peers – and to define what it takes to become a ‘restaurateur of distinction.’ Honorees are selected from across industry segments, including fine dining, hotels and noncommercial operations.

Since its inception, the Ivy Award has become the ultimate recognition for the best and brightest in foodservice. Past winners include some of America’s most famous restaurants, such as “21” Club, Le Cirque, Union Square Café, Commander’s Palace, K-Paul’s, Charlie Trotter’s, Frontera Grill, Emeril’s and French Laundry – and a handful of university programs including Stanford University and Harvard University.

“This award demonstrates the commitment that the employees of University Housing and Dining Services have to serving Oregon State University by providing culinary excellence and friendly hospitality,” said Rich Turnbull, associate director of the program.

Turnbull said that University Housing and Dining Services has stressed four fundamental principles over the years, including having food that is 100 percent safe 100 percent of the time; culinary excellence, outstanding customer service, and a sound business plan.

“For Oregon State University to receive this award is a wonderful honor and a great reward for our staff members who begin their day at 4 a.m. preparing food to serve the campus community,” Turnbull said.

Housing and Dining offers 17 restaurants and cafes in four buildings around campus, ranging from pizzerias and coffee shops to delis and full-service eateries. It also offers catering services through OSU Catering.

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Jennifer Vina,