Breakfast of the star (tots): Beloved Late-Night Finals Week tradition

You won’t find many colleges or universities where the president is a seasoned astronomer-culinarian who looks forward to “giving stars to the stars” at the end of every semester. But that’s Heidelberg President Rob Huntington’s revered role in a fun Heidelberg tradition: Late Night Breakfast.

Late Night Breakfast, prepared by Parkhurst Dining, will kick off exam week on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, starting at 11 p.m. at Hoernemann Refectory. There, students can grab some grub after the sun goes down and get fuel for those late study sessions. The breakfast is served by Heidelberg faculty and staff, giving students extra encouragement before final exams. Dean of Student Affairs Chris Abrams and President Huntington are both regular participants every semester. 

“My critical and extremely complex role in this high-powered food operation is to scoop tater tot stars onto the plates or into the takeout boxes of our students,” the president says. He has been scooping star tater tots for the past 12 years. In all that time, he hasn’t requested a “department transfer,” because the tradition is a good time for all involved. 

“I enjoy giving stars to the stars,” President Huntington says. “It is a ton of fun to say hello to all students in our line and wish everyone success on their final exams, papers, and projects.  I wish my college had a late-night breakfast for us back in the last century when I was a student!”

Dean Abrams always looks forward to getting in on the fun too. “My favorite part of Late Night Breakfast is seeing and serving our students,” he says. Like President Huntington, Dean Abrams embraces each opportunity to encourage Heidelberg students. “Late Night Breakfast is a perfect opportunity to enhance the experience of our students and give them a final push to finish strong!” he says. “Heidelberg students are uniquely grateful when staff and faculty take time to enhance their experience.”

Junior RA Lauren Gronsky definitely agrees. “It means a lot to see faculty and staff at the event because to me, it is a sign of support during a time they know is stressful to us,” Lauren explains. “It makes me confident that Heidelberg was the place for me because of the dedicated faculty and staff who give up their time to be there for us. Traditions like this are what make Heidelberg truly my sweet alma home.” 

Lauren looks forward to Late Night Breakfast as a calm before the storm. “It is a good way to relax and remember to take care of yourself during the stress from the end of the year.” 

Through this tradition, Lauren has met new people around campus who she doesn’t usually see in her day-to-day life. Students tend to learn about it through upperclassmen friends or group chats, which helps to build the community emphasis of the breakfast. Theater students and chemistry majors alike are united by good company and good food.

“My favorite food is the star tots,” Lauren shares. “They’re just something special to Late Night Breakfast.”

For students stressed or just hungry, Hoernemann Refectory will be bounding in encouragement, hearty food and lots of coffee. “I cannot recommend this experience enough!” Lauren affirms. “It is not only a great way to relax, but a perfect way to see campus in a different light.”

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