- The Washington Times - Monday, December 20, 2004

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Even amid a flurry of final exams and term papers, the semester’s last stress-filled days are smooth for some Illinois Wesleyan University students — and crunchy for others.

Smooth as in peanut butter — spread into more than 20,000 free sandwiches gobbled up over the last eight years in a finals-week tradition that has stuck like a mouthful of Jif at the 2,000-student college.

Administrator Darcy Greder started spreading the custom, along with grape jelly and strawberry preserves, back when late-night eateries were hard to find near the central Illinois campus.

“It was just one of those kooky ideas to provide a little support and comfort to students during finals week. I thought it was going to be a boon or a bust. I didn’t know which,” said Miss Greder, associate dean of students.

Boxes of fruit and vats of coffee, tea and hot chocolate also are emptied along a makeshift serving line in a student-center basement, which stays open for study-weary students from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. a couple of nights at the end of each semester. The giveaway costs the university $600 to $700 per semester.

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