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Each of our 65 entries was evaluated, using a point system for each response, by at least four members of the University Business team and one external judge, with similar-sized institutions grouped together.

Questions covered:

(1) the extent to which the facility and program uniquely reflect the institution

(2) the comfort and safety levels of diners

(3) sustainability initiatives

(4) the process of getting input from program users and how requests are prioritized

Trine University (Ind.)

Made-from-scratch recipes help Trine's dining services to minimize its carbon imprint.

Total full-time enrollment: 1,328

Institution type: Four-year private

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (Pa.)

Slippery Rock diners also have a quick take-out option.

Total full-time enrollment: 8,525

Institution type: Four-year public

Shippensburg University (Pa.)

An L-shaped dining area maximizes the views of Shippensburg's campus.

Total full-time enrollment: 6,662 for Fall 2008

Institution type: Four-year public

New York University

Signs explaining the origin of local foods help NYU students make informed choices.

Total full-time enrollment: 32,237

Institution type: Four-year private

Lehigh University (Pa.)

Vibrant colors, lighting, and a variety of seating add to the Lehigh deining atmosphere.

Total full-time enrollment: 4,876

Institution type: Four-year private

Gettysburg College (Pa.)

Managers can regularly be found sitting in the student dining area at Gettysburg to solicit comments.

Total full-time enrollment: 2,600

Institution type: Four-year private

Elon University (N.C.)

Brown & Co. is another campus dining option for Elon students.

Total full-time enrollment: 5,628

Institution type: Four-year private

Total number of campus dining facilities (includes any facility serving food; please explain): 12

Every six months, Babson dining staff go through a training that teachers them how to "wow" their guests.

Babson College (Mass.)

Total full-time enrollment: 1,851

Institution type: Four-year private

Small/Medium Institution Winner:

Strategic placement of food and beverage stations and a roomy servery keep things moving.

Bucknell University (Pa.)

Total full-time enrollment: 3,700

Institution type: Four-year private

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