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Points of Departure: Friendship and Free Stew

Molly Byrd, Emily Drevets, and Emily Bell


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In the video above, listen to a story of building community through stew. Photo by Melody Komyerov

“I liked the secret of having tons of meat in my backpack,” Emily Drevets says of the weekly tradition she and her roommates started. “Do they know how much beef is in my backpack right now?”

Every Wednesday afternoon for the past three years, Drevets (CAS’11), Molly Byrd (CAS’11), and Emily Bell (CAS’11, COM’11) have been serving stew to anyone who visited their South Campus apartment. All that was required of the “stewcomers”—as the “stewards” like to refer to their guests—was an empty stomach, a desire to make new friends, and a signature in their guestbook.

To the best of their record-keeping, Byrd says, they have served more than 350 fellow students; about 20 at most weekly sessions, and as many as 80 at their “evening edition,” a formal event held at the end of each semester. Although, the cooks confess, beef stew did not appear on the menu very often. “We call ‘stew’ anything we make in a crockpot,” says Drevets.

Although Drevets, Byrd, and Bell will be graduating, they hope the tradition of stew stays alive at BU. “It’s a big time commitment, and a big financial commitment,” Byrd says. “But it’d be great if someone could carry it on.”

“We’re hopeful the stew spirit will live on,” says Drevets. “Anyone who’s tasted our stew will carry that with them for their entire life. They can’t get rid of it, really.”

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu.

Additional editing by Chris Maggio. Additional videography by Joseph Chan.


14 Comments on Points of Departure: Friendship and Free Stew

  • Maha on 05.10.2011 at 6:20 am


    What a wonderfully amazing tradition! Wish these seniors all the best as they graduate

  • Michael Zank on 05.10.2011 at 7:09 am


    I can personally attest that faculty as well enjoyed the hospitality of these extraordinary stewards! I am proud to have been a stewcomer.
    Michael Zank

  • eve on 05.10.2011 at 8:47 am


    AHHHHHHHHH its about time you girls got some recognition. You three are a beautiful part of BU and you and stew will live forever in all our hearts!! xoxo

  • Anonymous on 05.10.2011 at 9:24 am

    Sweet Girls

    This was a very cute article. The girls seem very sweet. Best of luck!

  • John Battaglino on 05.10.2011 at 9:37 am

    I love this story, but i’m a little sad that I never tasted the stew. Great idea and I hope someone continues your tradition.


  • Anonymous on 05.10.2011 at 9:39 am


    You guys are amazing, stew Wednesdays are such a lovely tradition for you to impart.

  • Anonymous on 05.10.2011 at 10:19 am

    Good Not Great…..

  • Mike Zimmerman on 05.10.2011 at 10:53 am

    Stewnesday, Just Stew It. My fave part is getting weekly stew-texts.

  • awesome on 05.10.2011 at 11:17 am

    this is so awesome!

  • Mr. Puddinsnacks on 05.10.2011 at 11:23 am

    As the Stewer with the second most attendances on record, I can assure that these Stewards are living legends. Two things, however are less than correct. 1) In addition to the requirements above is a 4th requirement. Time. You can’t stew and screw, that’s just rude. If you come for the stew you gotta stay for a reasonable amount of time for the friendship OR if you have to leave early you have to regret missing out on the Friendship. 2) Technically, the Stew rulebook Ch. 5 Article 3 defines a "Stewcomer" as a first time Stewer, NOT a regular attendee of stew Wednesday. Its a pun on newcomer. Duh! Great article though. BU today should do more stuff like this!Mr. Puddinsnacks 

  • Anonymous on 05.10.2011 at 11:38 am


  • Anonymous on 05.10.2011 at 1:49 pm


    This is an awesome tradition, and I hope it will be continued. The stew sprit will surely be kept alive by everyone who has been touched by your weekly stewage.

  • Anonymous on 05.10.2011 at 8:57 pm


    Can you tell me again what is in Butter Beef stew??

    • dearle on 05.30.2012 at 11:35 am

      come again

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