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Custodian of the community: Marquette worker has been a campus treasure since 2006

Posted at 9:06 AM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 22:54:16-04

Wilmore Peters has been a custodian at Marquette University since 2006. When you meet him, you quickly discover he's a campus treasure. He refuses to litter his mind with rubbish or negative thoughts.

"He makes the entire department look great! We've had floods and other disasters, other people wouldn't answer the phone. Wil answered the phone," exclaims Chris Bartolone, Assistant Director of Campus Services and Operations. "He's got a smile on his face. He's always positive."

"A student or staff member might be down - Wil will cheer you up, bring out the positive. He finds the positive in whatever's going on and makes you feel better about yourself," Bartolone added.

Peters explains, "Anybody going through anything, they're going to have a smile out of me you can guarantee that. I'm not going to make them feel sad. I will lift them up in some type of way so life will be bright for them in the future."

Wil Peters was born in Belize. He came to this country in 1984. Peters was raised by a single mother and grandmother. They taught him to treat people the way you want to be treated.

"Marquette has these values," Peters states. "They fit right in with what I want to do."

Peters moved to Milwaukee in 2009 with his wife. He says they were here two and a half years when she did something that broke his heart.

Wil admits he succumbed to alcohol and depression.

"I was basically eating out of trash cans. I almost lost my home. I was about one month away from foreclosure. My brother helped me get out of foreclosure. I haven't missed a mortgage payment since then."

Wil maintains, "There are two things I always believed. Even though I went through my struggles, I'm going to say it was other people who helped me get through my struggles. Being here on this campus gave me so much strength!"

Wil Peters was awarded the "Difference Makers Award," from Marquette University. He says his aim is not to be noticed but to help others.

"I'm not trying to get awards or accolades for it. I feel people who do that do it for the wrong reason. Always do it from your heart, from your gut. Once you do that the awards will come."

Peters may not have a college degree, but he has a Ph.D. in positivity and common sense. Wilmore Peters is a natural educator, a custodian of the community.

Bartolone asserts, "It's a great representation of Marquette as a whole. We tell parents, and students we care. That's not an advertising slogan. Wil lives it."

"I don't have a drop of family here in Wisconsin, so when I come on this campus, I know I'm at home,"

Wil smiles warmly and declares, "I love this place."

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