Sausage and bacon and eggs, oh my! Gannon University faculty and staff will serve up the most important meal of the day to students Sunday night at the Mid-Knight Pancake Breakfast.
The event will kick off at 9:30 p.m. in the Beyer Hall cafeteria. Along with breakfast, steak subs and milkshakes will also be served, and entry is free for all students who present a Gannon ID. Door prizes will be raffled off throughout the night, and those in line will be able to fill out their tickets as they wait.
The Mid-Knight Pancake Breakfast has always been well-known as sort of the “calm before the storm,” a break from a seemingly never-ending weekend of studying for final exams that begin the next morning. It also serves as one of the most popular events on campus because it brings students and faculty together to celebrate the conclusion of another semester.
Pete Mannarelli, the general manager for Metz Culinary Management at Gannon, said that the event has been going on for over 15 years and he sees the tradition living on for years to come.
“I think that it is great that the breakfast is served by faculty and staff as it gives them a positive interaction with the students serving them the food at the different areas,” said Mannarelli. “This has been a positive and highly attended event each semester.”
Anne O’Neill, an instructor in the School of Communication and the Arts, has volunteered as a server for a number of years and said she loves being able to see her students outside of the classroom in an informal setting like the Mid-Knight Pancake Breakfast. She’s also had her own personal motivation for attending.
“The very first year I did it, I did not tell my son [Brendan “BK” Klemensic] that I was doing it, and he’s a student here,” O’Neill said. “I like surprising him and having him see me there and seeing his friends enjoying the night and getting ready for finals.
“Even though he’s graduating and leaving Gannon, I will still continue doing it because I love to see my students.”
So, what is the student body’s consensus on pre-finals flapjacks? Most praised the event for not only being a source of free food — something always coveted and sought out by college students — but for the encouragement they receive from those working the event.
Anna Van Eerden, a senior physician assistant major, said that in her opinion, breakfast is the best meal of the day, by far, and that pancakes are her favorite breakfast food, so what would be better to eat before a stressful week?
“They are even better when drizzled with syrup and served up by professors with smiles,” Van Eerden said. “What a delight.”
Not surprisingly, this was a popular opinion. Matt Barto, a senior mechanical engineering major, has attended the event several times before and agreed that the late-night breakfast aspect of the event gets him absolutely psyched to take on the onslaught of final exam week.
“I think pancakes are a great pre-final food because, as a breakfast food, they just get your day and all your activities going,” Barto said. “Pancakes make finals seem like a piece of cake, or should I say, ‘pan-cake.’”
Most students also agreed that eating breakfast for dinner is nothing to be ashamed of. Maria Wojtila, a freshman occupational therapy major, said that she doesn’t buy into the socially constructed fallacy that breakfast food should only be enjoyed in the morning, and those who believe so are perhaps being closed-minded.
“The nutritional value one would absorb from a piece of bacon is not much different at 9 a.m. than at 9 p.m.,” Wojtila said. “Eat whatever food makes you happy.”
President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., agreed, saying that the tradition fits his household’s behavior of eating breakfast for pretty much any meal of the day, and he looks forward to the event every semester.
“I am thankful to be able to literally serve our students at a time when they can use some energy, a warm meal and a smile,” Taylor said. “I am wishing the students the very best with the end of the semester, and especially the seniors with the end of their time here on campus.”