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Unsung Hero

October 7, 2015

Dennis Brooks, one of Monmouth College’s kitchen employees, has one of those shining, genuine personalities that can brighten up anyone’s day. Although every Monmouth College student has eaten his delicious food, most do not know the story behind his happy smile.

Dennis worked for 25 years as a driver for Meals on Wheels for senior citizens then 5 years at Bradley University in Peoria before coming to work at Monmouth College. “I liked what I was doing at Jamieson Center because I like being around people.” Brooks explained. “It seemed like a lot of the seniors that I delivered meals to, I’d be the only person they got to see all day, so it was nice. I cheered up a lot of people.” One of his favorite parts about working at Monmouth College is being around the students. “I’m young at heart. I’m 62 years old but I feel like I’m 21 or 22. I just like being around people. I’m a people person and you guys (students) make me feel young,” he said, smiling.

After working at Meals on Wheels, Brooks was given the opportunity to work at Bradley University. He began to explain how he learned how to become a college cook after working at Meals on Wheels. “I had never cooked quantity wise; I had always cooked at home with barbeque and stuff,” he said. “My supervisor (at Bradley University), took me under her wing and taught me a lot of stuff.”

Outside of working at Monmouth, Brooks is also a part of the band The Brooks Brothers. “We do rock and roll, R&B, blues and jazz.” You can catch the band playing at different local bars and fundraisers around Monmouth. He also loves to spend as much time as he can with his beloved grandkids.

Brooks loves to work at Monmouth College. He explained why he enjoyed working at Monmouth so much. “Bradley was big, but this is much better because this is smaller and this is home.” Anyone can see Brooks cooking, humming and singing behind the grill station in the cafeteria when he works. He loves to meet new people, so don’t be shy to say hi when you see him!

Emma Pierson Wentzel
Contributing Writer

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