Georgia Southern feasts on Gators—twice

After an historic football win, Georgia Southern students return to special lunch, with alligator on the menu.

When the Georgia Southern University Eagles defeated the University of Florida Gators—in Gainesville, Fla., no less—on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, it was rightly considered one of the biggest wins in the history of the school. The university’s Auxiliary Services department came up with an appropriate way to celebrate, and it had a week to plan it because the students were off campus for Thanksgiving week.

The win was the first in Georgia Southern history against Florida. The Eagles are a Football Championship Series school, a step below The Football Bowl Series division in which the Gators play.

For lunch on Monday, Dec. 2, Director of Residential Dining Jeff Yawn and his team put together a menu that included fried alligator, buffalo alligator bites and alligator sliders. Called “Southern Feasts on Gator,” the lunch was free for students on the dining plan, $8.50 for students using their Eaglexpress dollars and $11 for all other diners.

To add to the festivities, Yawn employed several “guest” servers: University President Brooks Keel, Eagles Coach Jeff Monken and his staff and Gus, Georgia Southern’s mascot.

The week off gave Yawn’s team time to source the alligator meat through its prime vendor, US Foods. Auxiliary Services purchased about 200 pounds of gator for the event, “and we ran through it all in about an hour,” Yawn said.

“This was just a special day,” Yawn said. “It was even more meaningful to have the president and the coaching staff here to serve the students. The students had Thanksgiving week off, so this was the first opportunity for us to celebrate.”

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