Hi-ya baby! This familiar exclamation of a GW legend will no longer be heard this year. After twenty-seven years of this friendly greeting, dining services veteran Miss Daisy has hung up her apron.
Sixty-year-old Daisy Rich retired this summer after more than a quarter century of service at the University. Miss Daisy, as students affectionately call her, spent the majority of her years at the cash register in Thurston Dining Hall before moving to the Subway in Mitchell Hall’s Cortile Caf? for the last two years. Since August 28, 1973, the day she was hired, Rich has gotten to know thousands of students who remember her for her friendliness and genuine concern for them.
She actually cared about the students, junior Zach Aisley said. I felt loved.
Rich’s colleagues at the Cortile Caf? were also sad to lose their beloved co-worker.
Ah Miss Daisy, boy do I miss her, Cortile Caf? manager Damond Walls said.
LaToya McClian, who worked with Rich for a year at Subway, said she was fun, spontaneous and had a great sense of humor. McClian said Rich liked her job and loved students.
Y’all get on our nerves, McClian said laughing. But y’all did not get on her nerves. She loved y’all and y’all loved her.
For Rich, the feeling is mutual.
I miss, miss, miss my children, Rich said about students she served. I loved my job because I care for you all. I was always talking, communicating with my children.
Rich said her decision to retire this summer was not an easy one, but it was something that needed to be done. She said she was tired of struggling.
Rich does not drive and had to walk to the bus stop every morning, which made getting to work difficult because she has a bad heel.
Walking to work in the snow was especially difficult, she said. Rich said she lamented GW’s snow-day policy, which she said is exceedingly strict, but she said she is now excited for the snow. She said she plans to lay in bed this winter and watch the snow fall, saying, Woo, ain’t that pretty!
Rich intends to spend her newly acquired free time working in her house and in her garden, which she loves.
Well, I don’t go fishing, but now I can do what I want to do, go where I want to go, Rich said.
She also plans to visit her mother in North Carolina and her daughter, Coretha, who lives in Maryland. A Redskins fan, Rich said she looks forward to the football season and predicts that the Redskins are going be a better team this year.
Rich, who was born in North Carolina, moved to Maryland 58 years ago. Before coming to GW, Rich worked at a nursing home in Maryland for seven years. She took a year off and then began working at Thurston Hall. Rich’s boyfriend, who she is still with, knew one of the managers at Thurston Hall who helped her get the job. GW hired her right away, Rich said.
Although Dining Services has changed during her 27-year tenure at GW, Rich said students have not.
If you are good to the students they are good to you, Rich said. There was never a change in how my children treated me. They have always treated me good.
Rich said she has too many memories at GW to pick out any specific favorites, but she said she especially enjoyed parent’s weekend.
Students would tell their parents about me and show them to me, Rich said. I would tell them that I was their mother, too. (Parents) liked that.
Another memorable event for Rich was when her face was featured on the back of the T-shirts distributed at the Thurston Block Party for the class of 2002. Rich said she was humbled by the gesture.
At first I said, `no way, I ain’t taking no pictures,’ Rich said laughing. But then I said, `OK, OK.’ It was because of my personality that they cared.
Under her picture the T-shirts reads, Thank you baby.
We wanted something everyone could identify with, said junior Abby Lestition, who helped plan the event. She was part of our freshman year. She was so nice – everyone knew her or knew of her. She would ask you about your about day and then they moved her to the Cortile Caf?. Everyone was so sad because she was such a part of Thurston.
Rich said she wants the students at GW to know that she misses everyone and that there is nothing in her heart but love for the students and people at GW.