For the past 18 years, Roxann Downey has been working for Dining Services to feed Murray State’s hungry students. Now, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. throughout the week, Downey provides students with coffee, doughnuts and snacks at Business Express.
Downey, who was previously a stay-at-home mother of six sons, did not start out working at Business Express when she became employed at Murray State.
“I actually started out over at Fast Track next to Winslow,” she said “I had a girlfriend that I told her that if anything at Murray State opens up to let me know and she did and I’ve been here ever since.”
She made the move from Fast Track to Business Express when it opened ten years ago.
Currently, a typical day for Downey begins at 6 a.m. She gathers food from the Thoroughbred Room for Business Express and brings it over to the Arthur J. Bavernfeind College of Business building, then stocks the coolers and racks.
“At about 6:30 or a quarter to 7, I come over to Business and I make coffee and I just get everything ready to open,” she said. “Then at 8 o’clock I open.”
At the end of the day Downey drops off her deposit and closes for the next day.
Downey also overlooks five student workers and restocks when there is not a rush between classes.
One of the reasons she enjoys her job so much is because she gets to interact with the students throughout the day, Downey said.
“They make me feel so young,” she said. “They could be sitting (in Business Express) carrying on a conversation and I’ll put my two cents worth in – my Momma Downey cents in – and I treat my customers how I want to be treated.”
Downey said she feels like a second mother to the students who stop by Business Express each day. She hopes to always treat them with kindness and appreciation.
“I am a mother to a son that goes to college in Chicago and I hope that lunch lady there is treating him the way I treat (Murray State students),” she said.
Even when the days seem long and the rush gets heavy, Downey never takes her job for granted.
“I am truly blessed,” she said. “I get up everyday and go to a job that I love. I like that I’m around the kids. I like my hours. I love it. I hope to retire from here and when I retire, I want to have everything – full-insurance, full-pay.”
When Downey is not working, she likes to knit, crochet and spend time with her four grandchildren.
Faces & Places is a weekly series that profiles the people and places of Murray. Every person and every place has a story. Let us tell it. If you would like the chance to be featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Anna Taylor, Features Editor.