Humans of JCU: Lamarr Richardson


Eric Fogle

Lamarr Richardson, a cafeteria worker at JCU, spreads happiness through his work.

Eric Fogle, Staff Reporter

Before Lamarr Richardson took over the pizza station, he worked at other stations in the cafeteria and the Tween. Now, midway through his third year working at John Carroll, it’s hard to imagine him anywhere else. One of the best known and most personable members of the cafeteria staff, Richardson spends his shifts doing two of his favorite things: cooking and building connections with people.

If they don’t know him by name, students know Richardson as the cheerful pizza chef who’ll either wish them a good day or ask them how they are doing. Those who do know Richardson by name seem to have only good things to say about him. 

“Lamarr goes out of his way to check in with students,” said Ray Flannery, ‘22. “He goes above and beyond to make everyone feel important.”

Aside from making pizzas day in and day out, Richardson considers being a positive influence one of the most important parts of his job.

When asked how he responds to students who seem disconnected or bogged down by how stressful life has been since 2020, he mentioned the importance of leading by example. A strong believer in energy and its effects on people, Richardson believes strongly that his enthusiasm, once emitted, ultimately lands on someone. The way he sees it, a trip to The Caf should be a relaxing break from classes or anything else that might be stressful. 

Similarly, he doesn’t allow bad days to affect the quality of his work or his effort to keep up with students. In moments like those, he believes it’s more important than ever to lead by example. Where it would be just as easy to clock in, do his work, and clock out, Richardson makes an effort to hold himself to a high standard. It’s important to him that others see the positivity he brings to work every day. He prioritizes the emotions of the students, stating that when they come to him distressed, he realizes it is time to “let them do the talking.”

His favorite part of the job is seeing and serving students, trying to be a bright spot in whatever way he can. His personality and the pizzas he makes have a similar effect on the JCU community. Both bring happiness and comfort, and either has the potential to make someone’s day. 

“The best part of my day is all of you,” Lamarr told The Carroll News. “My purpose is to inspire.”

“He’ll remember your name and talk to you every day,” says Adam Brennan ‘23. “He’s awesome. I always look forward to talking to him.”

It doesn’t take long to get a feel for the type of person Richardson is or why he’s so loved by JCU students. From the first meeting onward, a quick conversation with Richardson becomes a daily occurrence for many who get to know him. Richardson is quick to say hello 

Richardson also made it very clear that he wishes the feeling of loneliness on nobody. He emphasizes connection and compassion now more than ever when feeling alone is easier than ever. His uncommonly good nature and inspirational kindness seem to be a beacon for JCU students. 

Outside of work, Richardson enjoys cooking and writing. When asked his favorite type of pizza to make, he proudly said it was the vegetarian pizza. As a vegetarian, it’d be a lie for him to say anything else. He did, however, identify buffalo chicken as a crowd favorite, and for that reason, a favorite to make. 

Going forward, Richardson plans to continue spreading love and positivity to the JCU community through both the pizza he makes and the joy he infuses into them. He would like the JCU community to know how happy and grateful he is to be a part of it.