Catawba College and Chartwells Higher Education Open Cannon Dining Commons, a State-of-the-Art Dining Facility

Catawba College and its dining services partner, Chartwells Higher Education, are celebrating the opening of the newly renovated Cannon Dining Commons with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon on Friday, September 23 at Stanback Plaza located in the heart of campus. During the day, a live Teaching Kitchen will take place in the Student Choice station of Cannon Dining Commons, led by District Executive Chef Shawn Kravis.

“Our goal with the Commons, was to build the very best dining experience for our students,” said Dr. Jared Tice, Senior Vice President for the College Experience and Dean of Students at Catawba College.  “With the Commons, we have not only delivered this but have provided an inviting and modern dining atmosphere for our community to build connections and engage in fellowship.”

The new layout includes a relocated salad bar station along with a new Pure Eats station specifically designed with foods that avoid with the top nine food allergens (fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk, wheat, sesame, soy, and gluten).

Cannon Dining Commons food displayEnlarged cooking stations will include Pizza + Pasta, Grill, Action, and a Chef’s Choice area with a daily rotating menu. There is also a dedicated Teaching Kitchen space where students can learn cooking skills with hands-on training from Chartwells’ chefs. Students will also enjoy expanded seating options, lighting, paint, flooring, and more. The renovation includes new equipment in the kitchen and point of service where students will engage.

“We are so happy to be able to partner with Catawba College on this renovation,” said Kevin Plante, Director of Dining Services for Chartwells Higher Education at Catawba College.  “This newly-renovated space will provide an enhanced gathering spot for our students, faculty, and staff.”

The multi-million dollar transformation of Canon Dining Commons began in the summer of 2022 and was a partnership between Catawba College and Chartwells Higher Education.  In total, the renovation was over $3.4 million. The 10,000 square foot dining hall was originally built in 1929 and was last updated ten years ago in 2012. 

Find more information on our dining webpage.

About Catawba College

Founded in 1851, Catawba College is a four-year, private, liberal arts college conveniently located in Salisbury, N.C. Ranked as one of the best regional colleges in the South, Catawba is a learning community providing students unique opportunities to discover their vocation, calling, passions, and purpose as they prepare to reach their highest potential. The College offers more than 70 undergraduate and three graduate programs allowing students to explore diverse interests and create their own academic pathway. Additional information is available at

About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services

Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality and award-winning guest service within over 300 college and university dining environments throughout academic institutions across the U.S. Chartwells' nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit,,