Inaugural Pre-finals Breakfast A Hit with Law Students

  • News Photo 3943
    Eight law faculty plus Dean Brad Toben served breakfast to law students to help them get ready for finals. From left to right are Brad Toben, Larry Bates, Jeremy Counseller, Brian Serr, Rory Ryan, Kristin Simpson, Elizabeth Miller, Ron Beal and Jim Underwood.
  • News Photo 3944
    Jim Underwood and Dean Brad Toben were keepers of the orange juice.
  • News Photo 3945
    Ron Beal looks right at home in his chef's hat.
Jan. 30, 2007

Instead of a normal study break at I-Hop, Denny's or Starbucks, last week Baylor law students enjoyed a late-night breakfast served by none other than Baylor law faculty. Eight law profs plus Dean Brad Toben donned personalized aprons and chefs' hats while they spooned out eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes to more than 100 students.

The first-time event, which ran from 10 p.m. until midnight on Jan. 24, was the brainchild of Heather Creed, director of student relations. Heather got the idea when she attended the American Association of Law Schools annual meeting.

"I went to a section on student services, and everyone was throwing out ideas on events they had sponsored for their students," Heather said. "One person mentioned the breakfast, and I thought it sounded like a good idea. I asked our faculty if they would participate, and they agreed. And they really had a good time."

Heather tried to talk up the treat with the law students, even sending out an email that read they would get the chance to see Prof. Larry Bates in a chef's hat. That must have been a major selling point since a quarter of the student body showed up for the late-night nibbles served by Jim Underwood, Ron Beal, Elizabeth Miller, Bates, Jeremy Counseller, Brian Serr, Kristin Simpson, Rory Ryan and the Dean.

In his blog, From Malibu to Waco, student Jonathan Swanburg wrote, "The Breakfast for Dinner thing was good, so good in fact I'm left wondering why it hasn't happened before. Each server had a custom embroidered apron, tall white chef hat, and the demeanor of a giddy school child."

Jeremy Counseller wouldn't claim giddiness, but he did say the event really was fun and that if an academic life doesn't work out for him, he can get a job as a "gravy server."

Official pancake chef Serr, who liked to play pancake Frisbee, said, "Hopefully, the breakfast reduced some student stress during this very stressful time, and I know the faculty had a good time participating."

Reducing that stress was Heather's goal. "We know how hard we work our students," she said. "We recognize that and encourage that. But while we will always be a challenging law school, we want the students to know that we support them. I hope this breakfast was a tangible way to express that support, and it is something we hope to make a tradition."

Toben agreed. "I am anticipating that this event will be an on-going moment of fun respite for both our students and the faculty in future exam periods. It was such a fun event enjoyed by all!" he said.

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