A Revolutionary Partnership

On March 27, 2003, Sodexho, the world’s number one provider of food management services and TWU’s dining services provider, presented TWU with a $450,000 sponsorship. The company has graciously stepped forward as the sole corporate sponsor for building the newest collegium facility, granting TWU the money for the construction, fitting and furnishing of the new “Pacific Rim Collegium.”

Aimed at creating a home-like environment for commuters, the new Collegium is a membership based facility where commuting students can gather and experience a feeling of home on campus. The project is the first of its kind in Canada and provides a new level of service to students.

Garry C. Knox, president of Sodexho, believes that investment into new paths for education is important and that this TWU initiative reflects the spirit of innovation Sodexho strives to bring to the services and products they provide.

“The collegiums are pretty remarkable,” he says. “They are doing something for TWU commuter students that no one else in the country is attempting. Traditionally student life resources are so focused on residential students that it almost totally ignores commuter students. So we’re excited about partnering in a project that is establishing a new benchmark – it’s consistent with the kind of innovative thinking and action we value as a company.”

The first collegium was built in 2000 and was the beginning of a revolutionary experience for commuter students on TWU’s campus. Prompted by persistent requests from commuting students and facilitated by Sodexho’s gift, the construction of the second collegium began.

Up to 500 commuters per semester use the two collegia to study between classes, make a quick meal, relax in conversation, and connect with professors and peers. A stone hearth surrounded by sofas and chairs, promotes small group presentations, conversations and reflective opportunities. And a home-like office space is equipped with everything from staplers to computers and gives the students the resources they need to work on their projects, to email, and to access the web.

“I am delighted that we can enhance our ongoing partnership with TWU through the sponsorship of the Pacific Rim Collegium” says John MacCuish, vice president for operations at Sodexho. “Sponsoring the collegium is consistent with our mission to create and offer services to contribute to a more pleasant way of life for people whenever and wherever they come together.”

And while the sponsorship of the Pacific Rim Collegium is a new venture for Sodexho, they have been partners in the Collegium Project from the start. Structured by an honour system, each facility provides food and beverages from Sodexho at a subsidized price to all its members.

Doris Olafsen, TWU’s vice president of Advancement sees the benefits of Sodexho’s partnership touching multiple layers of the university. “Sodexho has consistently made valuable contributions that benefit the entire TWU community. Not only have they recently sponsored an initiative that benefits our commuter students and as a result, our student retention-rate, but they have also provided employment for several of our graduates within the Sodexho Corporation.”

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 other graduate degrees including counseling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-13
Author: Keela Keeping