Recently, Globe University-La Crosse celebrated the milestone of their fifth anniversary. The campus, opened in 2009, commemorated the event with a business luncheon featuring La Crosse Mayor, Tim Kabat, as well as an open house event and chili cook-off.
Members of many area businesses and extern sites were present for a lunch meeting celebrating five years of change and growth for the campus within the La Crosse area community. “My favorite part of our community luncheon were those able to attend,” said Faith Bergin, academic advisor. “I enjoy seeing familiar faces and meeting new people from area businesses.”
Faith also noted the importance of Campus Director Stephanie Donovan’s introduction. “Stephanie highlighted the background of Globe University and our continued commitment to students and their success.”
Following Stephanie’s introduction, Mayor Tim Kabat spoke to the audience about the potential for growth in the La Crosse area.
“It was refreshing to hear from the Mayor about the expected grthirdowth in the community and surrounding communities,” Stephanie said. “This growth will not only help the university but will also benefit our local businesses and organizations.”
The day continued with an open house event featuring games, Globe trivia, live music and a chili cook-off that was entered by students and staff alike, with the hope of winning art pieces donated by Globe students. Guests also answered trivia questions to win an iPad mini, listened to a harp and violin duo, painted pumpkins, painted faces and won pies.
As mentioned, students, staff and faculty provided dinner by way of a chili cook-off. There were more than a dozen chili entries, from traditional chili, to white chicken chili, to super spicy chili.
Faith Bergin particularly enjoyed the inaugural contest. “I thought the chili cook-off was the highlight of the open house event. Students and staff enjoyed the delicious completion and the celebrity judges provided great chili reviews!”
Celebrity judges included Z-93’s Brittany Styles and executive chef and owner of Savory Creations, Chef Shawn McManus, who both had a hard time choosing the top three entries. The judges tasted each chili and rated them according to specific criteria.
Chef Shawn McManus, who has judged over 50 food competitions and recently earned a top five spot out 10,000 to be on Spike TV’s “Frankenfood,” explained his criteria for judging. “Besides the standard criteria of presentation, smell and taste, I personally judged the entries by creativity — meaning the quality of ingredients and the risk they may have taken with unusual spices and herbs.”
Despite their celebrity status, both judges took time to talk to competitors about their entries, as well as offer encouragement.
“I truly can appreciate the heart and soul that the competitors put into these events,” Chef Shawn said. “I particularly enjoyed seeing the family involvement and feeling that every contestant really put their heart into their chili.”
Shawn also thanked all the participants and is looking forward to the next Globe University event.
The top three overall best chili winners were as follows:
- First Place: Student Maria Balderas, who won a gift card and a special tour of Savory Creations
- Second Place: Holly Kaiser, massage therapy chair
- Third Place: Angie Mellor, community manager
Globe University-La Crosse’s five-year open house and first annual chili cook-off were huge hits according to Stephanie Donovan. “The chili cook-off was well-attended with a lot of participation from students and staff. I hope to make the chili cook-off an annual event that everyone looks forward to.”