The Oct. 5 opening of a new Starbucks on campus was met with great applause and joy as the students, staff, faculty, and community welcomed the new coffee shop in front of Cooper Fountain at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“As you can see, this is a beautiful setting, We are really thrilled to have Starbucks opening on this location on our campus,” Chancellor Christina Drale said. “Let me remind everybody that our theme for this year is ‘Trojans Together and United.’ I think this facility is a really good reflection of that. A lot of people came together to make this happen, and I think a lot of people will continue to come together and use this facility to meet one another, to maintain friendships, and to build great new things at UA Little Rock.”
Daniel Howley, general manager for Sodexo, thanked Starbucks and Sodexo managers who have been training the staff for the past few weeks. Starbucks held a soft opening the week of Sept. 28 to give the new staff one-on-one training with their new customers.
“I just wanted to thank everyone for coming out for the brand new Starbucks that is opening up on campus,” Halle said. “I also want to thank UA Little Rock for the great partnership that we have and that we will continue. I hope you enjoy the new Starbucks.”
Chancellor Drale also thanked Sodexo and Starbucks for being great partners in this endeavor; David Millay, assistant vice chancellor of Facilities Management, and the Facilities Management team for their hard work, and Dean of Students Richard Harper for overseeing the project from the Student Affairs side, as well as several UA Little Rock student groups for their efforts to bring Starbucks to campus.
Just as a coffee shop is known as a staple of college life, Chancellor Drale also thanked someone who has come to be known as a staple and fixture on the UA Little Rock campus, Ms. Joyce Crossley, who has worked at UA Little Rock since 2001.
“Ms. Joyce kept our Starbucks concessions going in Ottenheimer Library, and I understand she is now going to be working for us in our new establishment,” Drale said. “If you haven’t met her, you will. She brings her own special brand of joy and good cheer to everyone she meets, and I think that is a fabulous representation of what UA Little Rock is all about.”
The new Starbucks is part of a series of renovations to UA Little Rock Campus Dining completed by Sodexo. Construction on the new Starbucks began in May and was completed in September. Starbucks will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located in the Old Student Union A building behind Cooper Fountain.
“Students, staff, and faculty have been enjoying the atmosphere and ambiance as well as Starbucks coffee and other products,” Harper said. “Once you walk into the building and see the view of Cooper Fountain, you can’t beat it. I think this will be a transformational space for gatherings and recruitment on campus.”
UA Little Rock and Sodexo will continue the celebration all week long with giveaways via Instagram @UALRDining.
In the upper right photo, Chancellor Christina Drale participates in a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of a new Starbucks on campus. Photo by Ben Krain.