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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University > Alumni & Friends > Stay Connected > MY Times > Posts > Young Alumni Spotlight: Zane Peterson and Dan Henchel

Name: Zane Peterson ’11 (right) and Dan Henchel ’12 (left)

Current job position (or additional field of study) and where:
Co-Founder/Owner - University Dogs, Inc. in Decatur

Zane: Finance
Dan: Exercise Sport & Fitness

Why did you choose MU, and what did you study?
Zane: I chose Millikin because I had heard nothing but great things about the Tabor School of Business, I liked the idea of smaller class sizes and getting to know my professors on a first-name basis.
Dan: I chose Millikin because I was able to continue my athletic career and receive a higher education while still being close to home.

What is your most memorable MU experience?
Zane: I have a lot of great memories from my four years at Millikin, both in and out of the classroom. However, my most memorable moments were golf practices.
Dan: There are a lot of memorable experiences. I had a great time while at Millikin, but I the times I had with my ATO brothers, I will never forget.

What activities did you participate in as a student?
Zane: Men’s Golf Team
Dan: Baseball ’07-09, Alpha Tau Omega ’08-11

What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use in your work regularly?
Zane: Hard work ethic and business communication skills.
Dan: Team work. In the hospitality industry you are always working as a team.

Who was your most memorable MU professor and why?
Zane: Cheryl Chamblin. As a finance major, I had Cheryl for several classes, I always liked that Cheryl would make time in her schedule and do anything possible to make sure we grasped the learning material.
Dan: Don Luy. I learned a lot from him over my years at Millikin both in and out of the classroom. He shared great networking opportunities with me and always wanted to see me succeed.

Where do you hope to be five years from now?
Zane: Continue growing the University Dogs brand, managing multiple restaurant units.
Dan: I hope to be operating multiple University Dog locations and creating lots of jobs for people.

What do you enjoy most about your current job?
Zane: I enjoy pleasing our customers with great-tasting food and a fun dining atmosphere.
Dan: I enjoy making decisions on a daily basis and being able to interact regularly with our customers, all while serving the Chicago favorites that Zane and I grew up on.

What have you done that you are most proud of since graduating from MU?
Zane: I am most proud of being able to help support groups and organizations within the Decatur and Millikin community.
Dan: I am most proud of making a difference in the community. We’re going on our third year of operation and I am proud to say the University Dogs is a staple in the Millikin/Decatur community.

What is a short piece of advice you'd give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
Zane: Enjoy your time while at Millikin; it goes by too fast. After graduating, try to pursue something that you are most passionate about. If you’re having fun at work, it can’t really be considered work.
Dan: Be willing to work hard, learn, grow as a person and do something you love!

University Dogs, Inc. is a limited service restaurant founded by Millikin graduates Dan Henchel and Zane Peterson, with the help of Zane’s father, Jim. University Dogs has been providing the “ultimate hot dog and burger joint experience” since 2011.


Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.


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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL