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Greene to keep cracking after 45 years

  • "Quiet Spirit"
    "Quiet Spirit"
    Described as "a woman of few words who always give you the absolute truth," Greene began her 45-year career with William & Mary at the age of 26. She'll be recognized for her service during Employee Appreciation Day on May 30.
    Photo by Megan Shearin

During the school year Roxie Greene starts work and begins cracking at 6 a.m.

Eggs, that is.

With nearly 600 students filtering through the Sadler Center for breakfast, she’s prepared to feed a small army with an entire case of fresh eggs. Twelve stacks containing 30 eggs each to be exact. She doesn’t bat an eyelash rattling off the figures.

“I really like working with the students,” said Greene. “And there’s right many of them that love fried eggs.”

Her 45-year career with William & Mary began when she was 26. Now at 71, Greene looks back on her long service to the College for which she will be recognized during the 2012 Employee Appreciate Day on Wednesday, May 30. She is one of more than 200 staff members honored for service contributions ranging from five to 45 years. Sue Presson from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science tops the list celebrating her 50th year. 

“I really didn’t think I would stay here that long when I first started working,” said Green, recalling that her first day was spent on her feet, stuffing pickles and olives into containers. “It was hard work.”

Over the years she has bounced around from the Marketplace to the bakery and catering. Her favorite arena was catering, “because that’s where I had the chance to meet and get to know the students,” she said.

“I have never met so many students with the name John in all my life,” she added, chuckling.

As the College has changed over four decades, so has Greene’s mentality toward work.

“At first, work was about gettin’ away from home,” she said. “But as I’ve gotten older it’s become more important to me to do my job well. To me, the last student through the line should have the same quality of food as the first student.” 

Colleagues and managers have noticed the care Greene puts into her work. She makes sure breakfast is hot and gives great attention in preparing the salad bar with fresh vegetables. Angela Johnson, food services manager, describes Greene as a “quiet spirit.”

“Roxie believes in a sense of excellence and dedication for everything she touches,” said Johnson. Johnson calls Greene a woman of few words who always give you the absolute truth. 

She recalls the first time Greene spoke to her.

“We had a conversation about having a clean grill,” said Johnson. “She told me she didn’t like for anyone to clean her grill because they never did it right.”

Although Greene is quiet, Johnson cautions people not to overlook her caring personality.

“I knew Roxie was a very caring person when she found out I was anemic and fixed me liver and onions,” said Johnson. “That was very special to me and I will never forget it.”

Matt Moss, director of dining services, said “Roxie is a shining star, with a kindness and outreach that can only come from the heart. She embraces the students as her own and serves each meal as though it were at her own dinner table. We are very proud of Roxie’s achievement.”

When asked if she feels like it’s been 45 years since she started working at William & Mary, Greene shyly replies no.

“Whatever I do here I enjoy,” she said. “I know there will come a time when I have to retire, but I just don’t feel like retiring. 

Not the way I feel right now.”