Dinner Dialogues

The Dinner Dialogues program offers professors a unique way to increase interaction with their students beyond the classroom and build community among the members of their class. Funded by a grant from the Parents Annual Fund, the Office of Parents Programs reimburses professors when they host their undergraduate class for dinner at their home. Access the Dinner Dialogues application here.

Fast Facts:

• The dinner MUST be held at the home of the instructor of record for an undergraduate class and not by your teaching assistant or graduate/peer leader, in a restaurant or on campus.
• The dinner must be held between the dates of the first and last day of classes and cannot be held on Reading Day or during Finals Week.
• The instructor will be reimbursed up to $10 per undergraduate student enrolled in the class.
• No alcoholic beverages may be served during the dinner, regardless of the students’ ages.
• The Dinner Dialogues application should be submitted two weeks prior to the event and will be reviewed for approval.
• After the dinner, submit your original, itemized receipts and a list of the students who attended (with their email addresses) to the Office of Parents Programs, located in the Russell House, suite 115. (Please do not include personal purchases on the same receipts that you submit for reimbursement).

What you need to know:

Holding this dinner at your house lets the students observe you in a different atmosphere and get to know you as a person. If you’ve worried about not having enough room in your house, get creative and look to other parts of your house like your backyard. If your house is located away from campus, encourage your students to carpool and give them exact directions to your house.

Some instructors have asked about the best time to hold the dinner, and that is completely up to you! To help the students feel more comfortable with you for the semester ahead, host it right as classes start. You can also host an end-of-the-semester celebration dinner to end the class on a high note!Keep in mind the time of year and campus events when picking your date.

Feel free to serve whatever food you would like. Whether it’s local cuisine, your favorite international dish or takeout pizza, have some fun and get creative. You can bring out board games and movies that pertain to your class discussions or set a theme for the night’s attire.Think of things to get your students of their shell.

Be sure to keep all of your itemized receipts and submit them to the Office of Parents Programs in the Russell House, suite 115. Please also submit a list of all the students who came to the dinner, along with their email addresses so we can send them semester-end assessments.

Feel free to take lots of pictures to remember all the fun and don’t forget to send some good ones our way!


“It was such a fun night! I almost didn’t want to leave!” Clare Messina, student

“I was able to get to know my classmates and professor on a more personal level and enjoyed fun and memorable times with them.”
Chelsea Ahlemann, student

“Thank you for funding this event. It’s one of my favorite things to do as a U101 instructor.”
Rebecca Shrader, U101 instructor

“Dinner Dialogues at my home was terrific! We were already close as a group, and this opportunity allowed us to bond even more!”
Pam Hayes, U101 Instructor

“I have found this experience to be absolutely enjoyable.The Dinner Dialogues program certainly supports one of the goals of University 101, which is to help break down the barrier between students and instructors on the college campus.”
Bob Holdeman, U101 Instructor

Apply for funding to host a dinner today! It’s a quick and easy application process – just click here!


If you have any questions, please contact Katie Spell Hambrick, coordinator of Parents Programs, at khambrick@sc.edu or 777-5780.