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About Catering & Events

There is a common phrase within Purdue’s Catering & Events division about the types of services provided – “From three to 5,000 people, from coffee and donuts to four-course meals.” Few jobs are too big or too small, because the staff is here to meet the needs of campus and the community.

We have been serving students since 1924. In the years after World War I, Purdue Memorial Union began as a cafeteria, soda fountain and banquet hall, and in the nine decades since it has evolved into a full-service catering operation. In the 1990s, former university president Steven Beering played a large role in upgrading Catering & Events from an institutional arm to one of professional quality, as Dr. Beering recognized the ability of catering to showcase the Union to the community, both local and global. We added alcohol service in 1998 to become the sole provider of alcohol on campus, which led to a boom in business that has only grown since.

University events make up the bulk of Catering & Event’s portfolio, but it also consists of weddings, non-profit events, anniversary and holiday celebrations, conferences and even football tents and tailgates. We are happy to tailor completely customizable menus to whatever your needs. From in-house catering to on-site delivery, we are here to serve.

We utilize locally-sourced food and beverages and bulk items as opposed to individually-packaged options and arrange for leftover food to be donated to a local food bank whenever possible. Catering also uses reusable cutlery, dishware, linens and decorations and promotes recycling of any disposable items and waste. We now have Earth Wise® Tree Free® napkins and recycled-paper cups from the Bare® line by Solo®.  PMU is also dedicated to water-saving devices, efficient energy measures and environmentally-friendly cleaning agents, all in an effort to minimize negative impacts on the environment.

The most important thing to know is when you book an event with us, you’re supporting students. Catering & Events employs between 100–200 students at all times, with opportunities for advancement through four levels of employment. We coordinate business with class schedules, and student workers come from various majors to learn skills in customer service, problem solving and interaction with university dignitaries. We’re shaping students as much as serving food. Take a look at just one of our many internship opportunities here. To visit with one of our event professionals please call (765) 494-8908 or visit our office in PMU Room 160, between the hours of 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday.