For nearly 60 years, the National Association of College & University Food Services has been supporting the college and university foodservice industry by providing members with the programs and resources they need to excel—from benchmarking and best practices to educational programming and professional networking.

NACUFS was founded in 1958 by a group of 20 college and university foodservice professionals from across the United States. The brainchild of Richard Lichtenfelt, then director of dormitory food services at Central Michigan University, NACUFS became the first association solely focused on foodservice in colleges and universities. Since its inception, NACUFS has focused on its mission to promote the highest quality of foodservice on school, college, and university campuses by providing members with educational and training opportunities, technical assistance, scholarships, industry information, and research.

Today NACUFS is headquartered in Okemos, Michigan and is managed by a full-time staff of eleven, a far cry from how the association first began. In its infancy, the association relied purely on volunteers and an elected board. In 1971, Clark E. DeHaven was named the association’s first executive director, and retired in 1990 after 19 years of service to the association. NACUFS was then led by Joseph H. Spina, PhD, from 1990 to 2012. In November of 2012, NACUFS hired the third Executive Director for the association, Gretchen M. Couraud. The full-time staff now includes education, membership, marketing, and meeting planning professionals, as well as administrative and financial support staff.

The NACUFS membership consists of approximately 550 institutions of higher education from across the U.S. and Canada, and nearly 500 industry members from the food, equipment, and consulting market segments. 

Mission Statement

To support and promote excellence in collegiate dining.

Core Values

Continuous Improvement
Critical Thinking

Portfolio of Excellence

Information Exchange
Food Innovation

Diversity & Inclusivity Policy

Nominating Committee Application