Food is essential to life, not only for its nourishment but also for its ability to provide comfort. This quality leads many people to associate food with home and family, especially grandmothers. Going away to college may eliminate this comforting aspect of home life for most college students, but not at Elizabethtown College.
Linda Lokey, dining services host, provides the comfort students are craving every time they enter the Marketplace. However, this is her last year at the College as she is retiring after the spring 2012 semester. To honor the time and the dedication she has given to Etown students over the years, dining services will host a celebration Saturday, Oct. 15 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Marketplace.
Dining services student managers Lindsey Summers and Matthew Matyas agree that Linda has taken on a grandmotherly role in many students’ lives, especially in their personal experiences.
“She’s been there for me when I’m working; she offers advice,” Matyas said. “So, [she’s] kind of an adviser on the shifts I work and kind of a guide.” Matyas said Linda is the one who taught him how to clean properly; she is the one responsible for the cleanliness of the Marketplace.
“I don’t think any Etown student wants to see someone who isn’t Linda looking at you when you come through the caf. door,” Summers said in an email. “Linda has a personal connection with the majority of students here at Etown, and I hope we can show her how much we love her!”
The celebration is a chance for students to say goodbye to Linda and remember all she has done for them and their peers. It is taking place during Homecoming/Family Weekend to give alumni a chance to say goodbye and talk with her as well.
“Linda has been an important part of the Etown College community since she started here, and it’s only right that we show her how much we care!” Summers wrote.
Since the majority of students eat in the Marketplace at least once a day, Linda is able to get to know them, even if they do not work in dining services. She is always ready to brighten up a student’s day. As her coworkers, Matyas and Summers have had the opportunity to get to know Linda better than most students.
Matyas’ favorite memory is her sense of humor, which he frequently experienced when they operated the ticker station together.
“Whenever I’m up there with her, she’s always talking about the sports guys, that always makes me laugh. She’s always calling them sexy,” Matyas said. “She’ll tell me about it and I would [think,] ‘I don’t care, Linda,’ but she’ll tell me every time.”
Linda is currently out under doctor’s orders while she recovers from surgery. According to Summers, she is doing well and is currently doing physical therapy, which “is going great!” Linda plans to return for the spring semester, according to Matyas. She will also, of course, attend her special dinner.