Even with people you know well, you don’t often get the chance to just say, Tell me about you. Tell me your story. We can sit here for as long as it takes.
That’s an aspect I miss about being a journalist — license to be nosy.
High up on my list of people to talk to was Wilmore Peters, who works in facility services as a custodian.
Wil gives everyone he knows a friendly hug or handshake when he sees them — and he knows hundreds of people. He may be one of the most well-connected people on our campus of thousands.
Wil always takes time out of his busy day to talk with me about basketball, books (we bonded over Malcolm Gladwell) or life lessons.
But I never knew Wil’s full backstory until one of my students, Alec Fischer, wrote about him for his final project. I didn’t realize that Wil’s mother came here from Belize when she was 20, and she sent money back home until she could bring her boys to this country.
Finally, I got the chance to sit down and listen to Wil and hear his story in his own voice. He talked about learning the English language, overcoming dyslexia, his optimistic philosophy and his hopes for campus over the next 20 years.
When we were finished, I posted his podcast on social media.
That’s when it became apparent just how many friends he has across campus.
Here are some of the comments from social media:
Great man right here. Thought provoking conversations every time we run into each other!
I know him personally! An amazing man who only wants the best for those around him and is truly passionate about Marquette and its success in the future!
This is worth your time… Wil takes care of the building I work in, and our chats in my office are often the highlight of my day. — Christopher Stolarski
He is THE best!
As these comments demonstrate, to know Wil is to be his friend. I hope you’ll be lucky enough to get to know Wil, too.