Helmut Mayer was the last Director of Dining Services before Knox farmed the service out to a for-profit corporation in the fall of 2015. He was hired in early 2008 to replace Steve Farris. He has brought dining services into the modern age by not only introducing a big swath of ethnic foods, from Indian to Chinese, Korean, Thai and others, but also by vastly broadening the vegan, vegetarian options available every day, and by getting various local producers to supply Knox College with anything from locally grown produce to great bread baked in town. He also introduced extensive labeling of all prepared and non-prepared foods to assure that anyone with food allergies could avoid and find foods fitting their needs. Mayer was also instrumental in supporting and advocated for what is now "The Knox Farm", where students grow an array of seasonal produce benefiting dining services. Despite having retired in the summer of 2015, Mayer is still largely popular on campus, and one can hear comments about him and that he is missed almost every day.
Through Caf comment cards it was discovered that Helmut is descended from Hapsburg Royalty, although his ancestors did not commission the works of Beethoven. Also: Helmut was amazing, and he's Austrian. He condoned erotic dancing during meal times. 'Nough said.