Carroll University is celebrating Gert Ullsperger, a 92-year-old woman who's given more than 54 years of her life to working in the Main Dining Room on campus.
She's given smiles, pep talks, and her famous hugs to students, faculty, and staff daily. The university is renaming the dining room and convenience store: Gert Ullsperger Main Dining Room and Gert's Grab'n Go.
"I can't believe they've done this. I just can't believe it," said Ullsperger.
She's the unofficial campus grandma. Cynthia Tellez is a senior this year, studying Biology and says she was a little taken back by this woman's immediate kindness and warmth. But had it on good authority that she's the best.
"Freshman Orientation, they tell you that if you ever need a hug, Gert's your gal," said Tellez.
Sam Hushek is a recent graduate of Carroll, spring 2018, who now works a the campus Operations Coordinator for Reservations & Event Services. Hushek says Ullsperger is one of the main reason you want to stay on campus, she cares.
"It's genuine. She truly cares, you can tell, and she remembers your name. She remembers your face," said Hushek.
Isabel Ruggiero says Ullsperger is a true part of campus. Whenever you go into the dining room she's always there with a smile on her face and a willingness to talk.
"I realized that she was just really a part of our Carroll community and she really helps make us who we are," said Ruggiero.
The university president Cindy Gnadier says Ullsperger's warm presence is a welcomed constant. But there was a time when she wasn't even going to stay on campus.
"Someone who worked in the dining hall, back in 1964 was ill. And so she came to fill in one day, and that was 54 years ago," said Gnadier.
Ullsperger, at 92 years young and over 50 spent at the school, has no intentions of taking a break just because they've improved some names.
"You know what? I think as long as the good Lord lets me be healthy, I'd love to be with people," says Ullsperger.
It's obvious that Ullsperger loves her job and everyone in it. The same can be said for the amount of love that's given back to her.