By Madison Weber ’23, Staff Writer and Social Media Editor
St. John Fisher College is home to many special staff and faculty members, one of them being dining staff member Larry Dukes who is celebrating his 20th year with the school.
Dukes himself will be the first one to tell you that “Everybody knows my name, and I know their name.” And after all this time when asked what his favorite thing about Fisher is, he still stays “everything.”
At this point, Dukes has his shift down to a science — start work at noon, eat lunch from 2 to 2:30 p.m., mop until dinner, do dishes during dinner dinner, and mop after dinner.
Over his time here, Dukes has made meaningful connections with both students and coworkers. Executive Chef Joel Kraft refers to Dukes as “an amazing individual whom I can not imagine working without.”
Dukes and Kraft have had the opportunity to form a close bond through their years at Fisher. When asked what he does in his free time, Dukes said he’s “praying for my students and Joel Kraft.” Faith plays a large part in Duke’s life, as he loves to “kick back, relax, and go to Central Church of Christ, all while looking on the Lord and depending on the Lord.”
Kraft refers to Dukes as having become one of the “most revered faces of Fisher dining” in his time here, with both current and past students.
“My favorite thing to hear at Fisher’s Alumni weekend are their stories and well wishes for Larry.” While Kraft is aware of the difference Dukes makes in the daily students’ lives, he clarifies that he “brightens our days as much as he does our students.”
Sophomore Braelynne Seager is just one of the students to have the opportunity to build a connection with Larry. “Ever since I was a freshman, Larry has always been a staple in the dining hall.”
Even when Seager and her friends walk by the dining hall, when Larry is mopping they always stop to wave through the window. Seager describes Dukes as a positive and uplifting person no matter when she sees him. “College can be stressful and it’s so nice to have someone who is always there to talk to and make me smile.”
Both Dukes and the people he’s touched here at Fisher are excited to have him as a part of our school community. He loves having the opportunity to make students happy at school, and brighten his team members day at work. Seager and Kraft are just a few of the friends he’s had the opportunity to make during his 20 years in the Fisher Family.