Wash U dining services are among the unsung heroes of our campus. Every day hungry Wash U students bombard the facilities at unholy hours of the night in desperate search of pizza, half and halfs, yogurt, or very very large cups of coffee. Among all of our tireless dining staff, none are more resilient than those who work in BD on the South Forty. BD stays open later than anywhere else on campus, sometimes as late as 3:00 am, and among the tireless chefs, baristas and cashiers is student favorite Donna Grice.
Donna can be seen very regularly at her post in BD checking out students and always reminding us to “wash that apple off sweetheart”. She, among many others, is always serving up food with a smile, with a “good luck on exams” and as always, advice to wash off any purchased produce. Donna has one of the biggest hearts of WashU’s campus and it’s no surprise that that unconditional compassion expands not only to the students (to whom she refers as her ‘kids’), but to her immediate family as well. Donna adopted her nephew at five years old along with his two siblings and raised the three of them with her mother. Last month, Donna was met with the unimaginable tragedy of her nephew’s unexpected death; an event that took her and her family entirely off guard. Immediately Donna was faced with large funeral costs which she and her family were struggling to meet. That’s when the Wash U community made the effort to help out a member of our community who had been dedicated to us for over 30 years.
In the wake of Donna’s family tragedy, students came together and organized a GoFundMe to give back. Immediately the fundraiser popularized across campus and students were chipping in small amounts of money to help Donna out with covering the costs for her nephews memorial service. After the fundraiser surpassed its initial goal I was checking out of BD one afternoon and saw Donna. Donna thanked me and the entire Wash U community for pitching in to help her out during this hard time in her life. I told her she was one of the most deserving people in our community of such support, and as I was walking away she was sure to lean over and say “Don’t forget to wash that apple off sweetheart”