Q & A with Rosa Mccray
Mackenzie Hurlbert – Managing Editor
Rosa Mccray came to work at Southern 27 years ago to save up enough money to buy a fur coat. A couple coats and over two decades later, Mccray’s still here welcoming students and being the natural-born people person that she is.
I first encountered her at the registers of Conn Hall during my freshman year. For the first few weeks she’d greet me each morning at seven with a wide grin and a cheerful hello. Sometimes she’d jest that I was the first one there or that I must have slept in if I arrived later than usual.
After only a few meetings, she learned my name, and she hasn’t forgotten it since, as she still greets me three years later with that same enthusiastic welcome and smile.
Mccray now works at the registers in the Student Center. You can find her in the morning sipping a cup of coffee and sitting at the far register. She’s usually chatting with a few students who have naturally gravitated towards her warmth.
Mccray’s a fan of movies, traveling and cooking, and she’s worked at Southern for 27 years. Southern News took some time to sit down with her and find out more about this ray of sunshine, Rosa Mccray.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Originally, South Carolina. I came up to Connecticut about 55 years ago. I’ve been here more than anyplace else.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I love movies, but traveling—I love traveling. The only place I haven’t been is California, and I would love to go there. But to the Midwest and all the way down to the south, I’ve been there.
Q: What was your favorite place you’ve been?
A: San Antonio. That was excellent. And I went to Hawaii and the Bahamas. On my 50 anniversary my kids took us on a cruise. That was beautiful.
Q: What did you like about San Antonio?
A: I loved the river walk. There’s a whole different country under that city. But Hawaii was even better. We toured Hawaii 5-0. That was excellent! And we went to a beach where the water is blue and you can still see the sand. I love Hawaii—I plan on going back there.
Q: So you mentioned you like movies, what’s one you’ve liked recently?
A: There’s so many of them, but the last one I watched that I like so much was Taken with Liam Neeson. I love that movie. He has another one—Taken 2 was good, but not as good as the first one. There’s another one coming out that’s supposed to be better… I hope so.
Q: Do you cook at all? You mentioned you liked to be around food.
A: I do a lot of cooking. Vegetarian meatballs, vegetarian meatloaf, vegetarian steaks—I could do some good vegetarian steak and meatballs now.
Q: Are you a vegetarian?
A: My husband is. So in here I’m a meat-eater, but at home I’m a vegetarian.
Q: How long have you and your husband been together?
A: 54 years. It takes a good person to put up with me. He is very good that he puts up with me (laughs).
Q: So what do you like or dislike about your job?
A: I really love this job. When I came to this job, I said I was going to work for a while and buy me a fur coat. And I never left.
Q: Did you get that fur coat?
A: I got two or three of them (laughs). I love this job. It’s not too far from home. It’s great hours, and I love the people. I love the students that come see me. I have a good time here.
Q: How do you stay so happy and positive? How do you have that energy all the time? I don’t know how you do it…
A: I don’t know, but it’s better being happy, smiling, and greeting people than trying to looks so glum and mean all the time. I love this place. It’s busy all the time, and even just working in this job, there’s always people and I love people. Once I get to know you, I won’t forget you.
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas