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Launch Money

Campus Dining Services manager funds student employee scholarship

Published Feb. 6, 2015
Story and photo by Derek Poore

Susan Dayton

Since 1997, Susan Dayton has donated $50 a month to help fund the Campus Dining Services Student Employee of the Year Scholarship.

Computers that filled entire rooms were the norm when Susan Dayton joined the staff of Campus Dining Services at Mizzou in the early 1980s. In more than 30 years on staff, Dayton has seen enormous changes in technology, services and employees.

But one resource that she considers the most valuable is students. As manager of computing and recruiting resources for Campus Dining Services, Dayton has helped employ thousands of students. She also has given back by donating more than $10,000 to scholarships during her career.

“We can’t do it without students. They outnumber us 4-to-1,” said Dayton, who graduated from MU in 1983 with a degree in human nutrition foods and food systems management. “We hire 700-800 [students] each year. We are one of the largest employers of students on campus.”

For about 17 years, Dayton has donated $50 a month to Campus Dining Services through payroll deduction. That money has helped fund the department’s Student Employee of the Year Scholarship, and been a great way to give back, she said.

“Since part of my job is recruiting, I began developing programs to help us recruit students to come work with us, and then retain them. So I started looking at [scholarships],” said Dayton, who is originally from St. Louis.

She has enjoyed helping students develop their “real world” career skills, learning just as much from them as they do from her.

“We look at not only how we can support them financially, but what skills we can help them develop. We can’t teach engineering or journalism, but we can teach teamwork, time management and communication. We can help them learn how to work in a large structured organization — a lot of those skills that employers look for,” she said. “And it’s always fun to hear from students and keep up with what they’re doing after graduation.”

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail:

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Last updated: Aug. 15, 2017