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Monday, February 9, 2004
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Ohio University Bicentennial
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Celebrate Founder's Day with a slice of birthday cake

By Marisa Long

As part of Ohio University's Founders Day on Wednesday, Feb. 18, a gigantic birthday cake replicating the College Green will be on hand at a celebration in the Rotunda of the New Classroom Facility.

The vanilla-flavored dessert signifying Ohio University's 200th birthday will span five by five feet wide. Multiple, stacked sheet cakes will be pieced together and vanilla-flavored icing will be died different colors to replicate the ground and walkways of the Green. On top of the cake, plastic molds will constitute different buildings including McGuffey, Wilson and Cutler halls. The Civil War monument and the Class Gateway will also be recreated in the representation.

Housing and Food Services are baking the cake and transporting it to the New Classroom Facility. The department serves a support function to many bicentennial events.

"I think that we have one of the most talented staffs in dining services," says Randy Shelton, Housing and Food Services director. "Our cooks, bakers, dining hall employees and custodians are highly skilled and dedicated to students, and we are excited for the opportunity to help with the bicentennial celebration."

Shelton began researching the logistics of making a cake of this magnitude and found it could be a lengthy and expensive process. It was originally projected that it would take almost a week to assemble and decorate the cake. However, after consulting various outside bakers with experience in large cake making, Shelton decided plastic mold cutouts were the solution.

"We found it was more difficult and time and labor-intensive than we had anticipated because the parts of the cake had to be transported to the site and assembled," says Shelton. "In order to save time and energy, we decided to use plastic molds, which cut the costs in half."

The cake will be baked and assembled at the Central Foods Facility, and an outside contractor is designing the molds, which will be reused for future events.

"I think that our 200th birthday gives us reason to celebrate, and modeling the cake after College Green shows the quality and reputable nature of the University, says Shelton. "We wanted to create a quality environment to serve as the backdrop to the Founder's Day reception."

Join past University presidents, dignitaries and other special guests in commemorating Ohio University's past, present and future. In addition to having a slice of the large birthday cake, there will be the opportunity to purchase unique bicentennial and University-themed merchandise at the event.

Marisa Long is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.

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