A lot has changed at the University during the last 45 years, but at least one constant remains: Rowena Williams. In 1960, Williams began as a dishwasher in the old Red Building’s cafeteria and has worked as a line server, grill cook, salad maker, cashier and supervisor.
Today, she gets up at 4:00 a.m. every weekday. By 6:30 a.m., she’s at the Hoff Dinning Hall setting up for breakfast before assuming her post at the cash register where she greets sleepy-eyed students who stop for a bite before class. “As a cashier, I like to talk to students,” says Williams, who sees more than 1,000 students a day. She also enjoys meeting generations of Xavier graduates. “As long as I’ve been here, I’ve had students that had brothers and sisters here or four children and a father. It’s nice when you get to see the whole family coming in.”