- Namesake for the primary residence hall dining establishment, “Mrs. E’s”
- Associate Director of Housing and Head of Food Services
- 1986: Outstanding Home Economist of the Douglas County Home Economics Association
Lenoir Ekdahl touched more students than most in her unique way. She kept those students in balance three times a day for more than three decades; her contributions to students and her community service are extraordinary and lengthy.
As an Associate Director of Housing, Ms. Ekdahl was involved in the overall decision-making concerning the Student Housing Department as well as the food service operation. She assisted in the expansion, planning, and organization from a two-unit residence hall operation to an eight-unit operation. Her daily efforts included operating within a $4,000,000 budget to feed 4,500 residence hall students. She oversaw the hiring, employment, and training of 90 full-time classified employees and 400 student employees; administered and directed the purchasing programs (food, supplies, and equipment) including keeping abreast of current supply sources, price trends, and products on the market; oversaw food service public relations and customer relations; oversaw recipe and menu development, including ensuring each meal was well-balanced nutritionally and financially.
Ms. Ekdahl was involved in a number of organizational and community service affiliations: member of the National Association of College and University Food Service, the American Dietetic Association, the Kansas Dietetic Association, Kaw Valley Dietetic Association, the Dietitians in College and University Food Service, Association of American University Women, the Douglas County Home Economics Association, and she was an active member of the Pilot Club and her church.
She was elected Outstanding Home Economist of the Douglas County Home Economics Association in 1986. Ms. Ekdahl nurtured many young colleagues through the years by promoting professionalism and activism in professional associations. Her energy level was high and contagious in all of her involved groups. She was recognized as being extremely competent, efficient, warm-hearted, and giving of herself. She chaired a committee for the Association of American University Women, worked with the local LINK program (helping establish meals for the needy), led lessons in her church and hosted Sunday Morning Coffee Hours there, and served on the Board of Trustees for Valley View Nursing Home.
Suzanne Coil, then an assistant professor at Baker University, noted Lenoir Ekdahl made “every member feel important and that every effort was worthwhile.” Her memory lives on affectionately as the namesake for the primary residence hall dining establishment, “Mrs. E’s.”