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Meet Cecilia, Warren Towers Omelet Lady

A glimpse of the workday of a longtime Dining Services employee

During the summer months, BU Today is revisiting some of the past year’s favorite stories. This week we put the spotlight on BU staff.

You may not know her name, but chances are that if you’ve ever had an omelet at Warren Towers, you know her face. We’re talking about 25-year Dining Services employee Cecilia Lopez. She could rightly be called a campus celebrity, as famous for knowing the orders of her regulars as she is for her delicious omelets. She even has her own Facebook meme.

While her shift technically starts each day at 5 am, Lopez likes to arrive at work 30 minutes early to change clothes and arrange her hair. She boils water for the oatmeal and then begins stocking the omelet station with onions, tomatoes, peppers, ham, and more. “Everything has to be perfect by 7 am,” she says through a translator (her first language is Spanish).

She greets each customer, always asking first how they are, then how they want their omelet prepared. Lopez has a college-age daughter and takes a genuine interest in the students, serving as a kind of mother figure, commiserating with them if they are sick or have pulled an all-nighter. “When I see a student that is very tired, I try to encourage them,” she says.

Born in El Salvador, Lopez came to the United States at the age of 19, arriving in Houston, Tex. “At that time the revolution and guerrillas were emerging in my country,” she says, “and they were kidnapping young women my age, so my mother was very worried.”

In 1992, she moved up to Boston and started working at BU part time. Her first job was as a dining hall custodian. At the time, she says, she didn’t know much English. One day, a coworker asked if she would like to serve food, and from there, she went on to work the grill and prepare burritos before becoming an omelet chef 15 years ago. By her own estimate, a typical morning sees her making more than 300 omelets.

When the end of her shift approaches, Lopez tidies her station for the next person using it. Then she starts chopping and preparing ingredients for the following day. “That’s my routine,” she says.

When she isn’t working, she loves to watch the Discovery Network and cook for her daughter, but only on weekends. One of her specialties is the traditional Salvadorean dish pupusa, a corn tortilla stuffed with a savory filling. Other favorite dishes include tamales, enchiladas, and soup. Eggs are almost never on the menu.

“I don’t buy any eggs because I see too many eggs here,” Lopez says.

Carlos Soler contributed reporting to this article.

Amy Laskowski, Senior Writer at Boston University Marketing & Communications editorial department
Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

17 Comments on Meet Cecilia, Warren Towers Omelet Lady

  • Ryan Roth Gallo on 01.29.2018 at 8:13 am

    Bravo Cecilia – Me encanta a leer y escuchar a ud. Muchísimas gracias por su trabajo y espíritu! And well done BU for celebrating such a wonderful member of our family. I would love to see more employee profiles like this one. And, what is the FB meme? You left us hanging!

  • Luis F. Quintanilla on 01.29.2018 at 8:16 am

    Congratulations Cecilia!

  • Katharine Mooney on 01.29.2018 at 8:47 am

    I love your message about helping students stay well (beyond just breakfast!) while at BU, Cecilia. You demonstrate how each of us has a role in helping students feel healthy, seen, and connected on campus. Thank you!

  • Ali Husain on 01.29.2018 at 12:05 pm

    This was a GREAT article and an even better video!! Love Cecilia.

  • Naomi on 01.29.2018 at 12:49 pm

    Muchas Gracias Cecilia por tu trabajo excelente y con amor! So many of the students are from very far from home, and every touch of kindness and warmth means so much.
    My children went to BU, and I hope that they had your omelets and were touched by your beautiful spirit.
    un abrazo,

  • Ben Mason on 01.29.2018 at 2:21 pm

    Great to see Cecilia getting some recognition!

  • Laurie on 01.29.2018 at 5:09 pm

    What a beautiful tribute!

  • jim on 01.30.2018 at 6:25 am

    That was great!

  • cydney on 01.30.2018 at 1:10 pm

    great job, Jason!

  • Chika on 01.31.2018 at 5:51 am

    Congrats, Celia!
    I’m on the medical campus and have never met you, but I see the love you give out to the world! Well done!

  • Mary Jane Doherty on 01.31.2018 at 8:25 am

    This story and video help me to be proud about teaching at BU.
    Thank you Jason and Amy! And, of course, a HUGE thank you to Cecilia!

  • anonymous on 01.31.2018 at 8:39 am

    I had her omelets for breakfast every morning for the entire year I lived in Warren Towers as a freshman. It’s been eight years since then, seeing her again in this video this morning just warmed my heart, just like it did every morning eight years ago.

  • Anon. on 02.01.2018 at 9:12 am

    I graduated from BU in 2014 and I’m thrilled to see a story about Cecilia. I had an omelet from her almost every day for four years and she was a wonderful part of my time at BU. Cecilia was always very sweet and caring, and I’m so glad BU hires and recognizes people like her.

  • Susanne Jordan on 02.03.2018 at 11:44 am

    I love stories like this! Thank you! These folks are the backbone of the school. Thank you to Cecilia. I appreciate her dedication and her warm and welcoming spirit. Students who encounter her each day are lucky to have her support, encouragement and good cooking!

  • Rae on 03.21.2018 at 1:38 am

    She is absolutely amazing. My final year, she would ask me how my day was going. And those days in 2015 when there was snow storm after snow storm, she noticed a huge stress taken off my shoulders. This article brought a huge smile to my face. I miss her so much – I truly do.

  • Scott Ruescher on 06.20.2018 at 9:38 am

    Un ejemplo muy bueno de una persona que vino a estados unidos para ganar una vida mejor –para contribuir a la cultura y la economia y a la salud y la alegria de otras personas –no para robar, violar, comitir delitos en la calle como creen los tontos como Donald Trump y Jeff Sessions. Felicidades, Cecilia!

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