Humans of JCU: Lamarr Richardson one year later


Eric Fogle

Opinion Editor Eric Fogle talks to Lamarr Richardson, who is a staple of Schott Dining Hall

Eric Fogle, Opinion Editor

During Feb. 2022, The Carroll News sat down with Lamarr Richardson, the kindhearted and talkative pizza connoisseur near the cafeteria’s exit doors. Just over a year ago, his feature in the Humans of JCU series was published, to the satisfaction of many who felt he deserved recognition. Since then, he’s relocated to the center station and our beloved cafeteria has received a much needed facelift. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is Lamarr’s consistent output and his unfailing optimism behind the counter. 

When asked about the renovations, Lamarr’s answer concerned the student response to the update. “The dining hall itself is taking on a more elegant feel,” he told The Carroll News. “It’s a good place to take the pressures of young adulthood off your mind.” It’s very fitting that Lamarr’s thoughts on the new caf would relate to the effect it has on the students. 

Much like last year, Lamarr wishes the caf to be an oasis, a place free of academic stressors. He’d like for students to leave that at the door and spend thirty minutes to an hour enjoying the food and taking a break from all that is asked of them. On busy or otherwise stressful days, Lamarr looks to the students and pizza lovers on campus who remind him that the meaning of his work is to serve, to make the mornings, afternoons or evenings a highlight of the day. 

Some students have gotten to know Lamarr on a deeper level, stopping by the pizza station for more than just a slice of pepperoni or cheese. “You can get closer to me just by being human,” Lamarr said, commenting on the students who he’s gotten to know. “Know that you can stop and talk to me no matter what.” Part of his view of the caf as a break from the pressures of campus includes offering a listening ear in addition to his pizza and flatbread. 

Lamarr will ask how you’re doing no matter who you are. If someone decides to be a little more honest than “good,” Lamarr is one of the first and one of the best to listen. Among those students who Lamarr has gotten to know on a deeper level, Myron Tibbs ‘23 stands apart. Myron got in touch with The Carroll News recently to share how Lamarr has personally impacted his experience at JCU. 

“Lamarr is the kind of person that makes John Carroll a special place. I have known Lamarr since 2019 and I can say that over time I have gained so much knowledge, wisdom and, most importantly, a bond that will last forever. He’s ahead of his time and will continue to inspire generations to come with his motivation, generosity and caring personality.”

Last year, TCN highlighted student praise for Lamarr, who voiced their appreciation for his consistency and care. But it’s not just the students who have good things to say about Lamarr. “That is my dude,” Ce’lo Croff said, temporarily joining Lamarr and TCN in our interview. Ce’lo, locally famous in his own right throughout the John Carroll community, has grown to know Lamarr on a closer level. They entered into conversation on the record where Ce’lo told TCN “Lamarr’s an outstanding guy to me. He looks out for everybody when he can.” 

Now, in his fourth year at John Carroll, Lamarr continues to live in accordance with an acronym sometimes visible on a mask he wears. The acronym is FLIGHT: Finding Light, Insight through God, Health, Truth. Anyone who’s gone deeper than hello and goodbye with Lamarr can clearly see that Lamarr lives his values day in and day out. 

In addition to his regular excellence, Lamarr is in the process of writing a recipe book and starting an indoor growing farm. His overall mission remains internal wellness for all, doing what he can for himself as well as for those he encounters. His purpose remains to inspire and the best part of his days remains the students he sees. His own worst critic, he expressed one wish to TCN in his interview: “I just wish I had more room for more pizzas” 

Lamarr’s closing advice to students, whether they’ve had the privilege to meet him or not was this: “Enjoy it. Cliche as it sounds, you have a great opportunity here to become everything that people say you can’t be. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy knowing that you’re here and the possibilities are countless.”