Their plan to bring The DogHouse to campus to provide convenient meals while giving students an opportunity to work and learn on the job received pledges for $20,596 through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.com.
A post on the group’s Facebook page reads as follows: “We did it! Not only did we meet our goal but exceeded the set expectations. Thanks to everyone that has helped throughout the process…Let’s maximize this opportunity to provide impact on NIU’s campus.”
The endeavor was buoyed by a $10,000 pledge November 20. Support also came from numerous NIU alumni and football connections.
Otis and Delegal met at NIU through football. Otis played right tackle, and Delegal was an outside linebacker. They graduated with bachelor’s degrees in 2011.
Echols was president of the NIU Student Association for a year and served on the NIU Board of Trustees as the student member for two years. He completed a master’s degree in education in 2014 and is now a staffing manager at SNI Companies in Chicago.
The DogHouse team served gourmet sandwiches during the pregame tailgate at “The Yard” during the 2014 football season. Their initiative is consistent with university efforts to re-envision campus life at NIU. Among the ideas proposed in a 2014 Campus Re: Envisioned thesis is that of “Food Truck Fridays,” that would bring food trucks to a campus location to add to the fun and variety on campus. The idea was tested during the annual President’s Welcome Back Picnic.
“We want to be an alumni-owned, student-run business, and we want to cater directly to students, faculty and everyone who is on campus,” said Delegal.