Posted February 21, 2011 by Elizabeth Stringer 

Instant Replay: Breakfast Programming Hot Topics Round-Table

On Feb. 9, ACUI hosted a Hot Topics Round-Table discussion on breakfast programming. Facilitator Patrick Connelly shares some of the program highlights below in this webinar wrap up!


Patrick Connelly, Smith College, facilitated a round-table discussion on breakfast and morning programming. Peers from all types of institutions participated in the discussion on how to develop successful morning programming series.

Mornings are an ideal time to program for specific campus populations. Popular thinking tells us that students are not morning people and that mornings are less than ideal programming times. Despite this belief, on every campus, there are specific student populations up and moving and willing to participate in morning programs.

Mornings are a great time for programming in the union. Foot traffic in the union is slow, space is readily available, and morning programming doesn’t compete with other campus programs. Morning programming is an excellent way to connect with underserved campus populations and meet their needs.


Decide who your programming is geared toward and target that specific population
Some campus populations who may benefit from morning programming are commuters, veterans/ROTC, first-year and sophomore leaders, and faculty and staff. These populations generally are up in the morning and interested in participating in programming specifically geared toward them. Instead of general advertising, think about reaching out to these specific populations and inviting them to programs.   

Connect with commuters 

As they arrive on campus, move the programming to commuter students. Meet them where they park and offer to connect them with campus services like public safety or the bursar. Sell or distribute tickets to an upcoming program; and, of course, provide them with coffee and doughnuts.   

Brighten the day of faculty and staff
Mornings are also a great opportunity for your programming board or union board to thank faculty and staff for their support by handing out coffee and programming schedules to them as they come on to campus in the morning.    

Consider cosponsorship
Another tactic for morning programming is to cosponsor programs with other departments. Athletics and recreation may be willing to cosponsor an early morning yoga program in the union—all they need is a flat, open space and mats. Or consider a morning running program that starts and ends at the union. Religious and spiritual life groups may also be interested in cosponsoring morning campus walks, reflection programs, morning meditation in the union. 
Keep in touch with campus leaders
Many campuses have a successful leadership breakfast speaker series or early morning emerging leaders program. Consider breaking the mold by developing a women’s leadership series around breakfast that focuses on the skills women need to be successful as leaders. Develop a reflective leadership program that combines discussion, breakfast, and journaling to help students integrate reflection into their lives. 

Morning programming can be successful if it connects with a specific student population and provides a good meal and if program advertising is geared to the population you are trying to reach.
What’s your breakfast program success story? 

Elizabeth Stringer

Elizabeth Stringer is the Senior Manager of Marketing & Communication at ACUI.


We hosted a breakfast for one of our ROTC detachments that was a great success. Working with their staff to keep it somewhat of a surprise, the students reported to their regular morning site assuming they would be doing their scheduled drill session. Instead, after marching to the union, they were treated to a hot breakfast and a morning off. We created some great fans of the union that day, all for the price of some eggs, bacon, and juice!
Jeff Pelletier
Comment posted 02/21/2011 11:26 AM
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