Britton O'Daly

Sophomores were greeted by rows of avocado hummus, eggs Florentine, pasta, fresh orange juice, mock mimosas and more at a Yale College-wide SophBrunch on Saturday morning.

Organized by the Yale College Dean’s Office and Yale Dining, SophBrunch was held at Yale’s temporary events venue at 150 York St. from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Yale College Dean Marvin Chun, one of the people behind the event, said the idea for sophomore brunch was inspired by an event he created while head of Berkeley College — Thunderbrunch. Although the 2015-16 Sophomore Class Council organized a brunch for sophomores across Yale College, this year’s event marked the first installment in what organizers hope will become an annual tradition. 

“When I became dean, I asked myself what I could do to bring Thunderbrunch to more students in more colleges,” he said. “And thanks to Yale Dining and their amazing capacity, we were able to put this together.”

Chun said he noticed there are many events for seniors and first years, but fewer for students in the middle of their time at Yale. Chun said he hopes the brunch will become a new tradition for Yale’s sophomores.

Yale Dining carefully curated the event’s menu, which featured a wide variety of foods ranging from typical brunch fare — bacon, eggs Florentine, potatoes — to an extravagant waffle bar, freshly squeezed orange juice and a meat-carving station.

“It’s a strange time of year, because foodwise, we’re kind of finishing through winter but not really into spring yet,” said Danielle Shapiro, managing director of Yale Catering. “It’s brunch, so you want a little bit of everything, so we tried to do … some nice salads, a lot of vegetarian and gluten-free options, all the traditional things.”

The event was held at Yale on York, a newly constructed building that will host many of the events previously held at Commons until the renovation of that historic building concludes. Shapiro explained that she hopes to expand the popularity of SophBrunch so that it becomes an equal to the First-Year Holiday Dinner, which was also held at Yale on York earlier this year.

About halfway through the dinner, Chun and Rafi Taherian, the associate vice president of Yale Hospitality, said a few words to the hungry sophomores who came to the brunch.

“You’re about to reach your half point at Yale, and I want you to reflect upon your time here and be excited about the years ahead, including the summer,” Chun said to the students. “And also, it’s midterm season, it’s winter. You’re going through a hard few weeks, and so we think the best way to treat you is with a lovely, amazing brunch like you’re having now.”

Taherian shared Chun’s enthusiasm, explaining that the objective of the brunch was to create a “memorable experience” for the sophomore class.

Student reactions to the brunch were largely positive, with many expressing excitement about the creativity of the food options.

“It’s fantastic,” said Joanna Wu ’20. “I feel really lucky to go to a school that can provide a brunch like this for us.”

Jessica Trinh ’20 agreed, explaining that while she had previously heard of Thunderbrunch, she liked that the new event was open to all sophomores.

Other students, including Michelle Li ’20, said they appreciated the timing of the event, describing the brunch as a welcome break from midterm season.

Lotta Keller ’20 said she thought the long hours of the brunch — 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — were convenient. “It means that a lot of sophomores can actually enjoy it,” Keller said.

Aakshi Chaba |

Correction, March 6: An earlier version of this article described the SophBrunch as the first-ever Yale College-wide brunch for sophomores. In fact, the 2015-16 Sophomore Class Council organized such a brunch.