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Unsung Hero

February 26, 2016

Monmouth College graduate of the 1973 class, James Briscoe, had once studied geology and astronomy in the old McMichael Science Building before the CSB was even a concept. Working at the Scots Market, Briscoe sees many students come and go throughout the evenings but he has seen more than just the students come and go throughout his time at Monmouth College.

Briscoe recollected that before the Huff was completed, 7th street ran through part of today’s completed building. Briscoe had also helped move the books from the Carnegie Library (now Poling Hall) to where they reside today in Hewes Library. Briscoe might work at Monmouth today but he will never forget about the old Monmouth and what ultimately brought him back.

James Briscoe has a loving wife and two grown step children. One of the two children completed her master’s degree in nursing and the other used to work as a software developer at Microsoft and now works as a data analyst/scientist at Amazon. Whilst speaking about his family Briscoe went on a brief, passionate tangent about when he met his lovely wife Vicki and how they got together. He met her for the first time when one of his ZBT brothers introduced him. “I met her right here in the Student Center. It was on the lower level, just a few feet from what is now the Scots Market, in fact,” said Briscoe. While at Monmouth, they began dating. Vicki, a fellow student, was a year behind, and when they graduated they went their separate ways. After many years they reunited in 2005, dated long distance until 2007 when he moved from Chicago to Monmouth and eventually married in 2009. In order to help support his new family, he got a job here at Monmouth and has worked here ever since.

Before he started working at Monmouth, he started his own business as a genealogist. He studied history at Monmouth and took a genealogy course in Chicago at the Newberry Library after he had graduated. With radiance in his eyes James said, “I really enjoy the act of researching.” Genealogy came naturally to James which would allowed him to earn money by advertising through the genealogy publications. He then took a paralegal course in Chicago and became a lawyer’s assistant. With all these different types of jobs, Briscoe has created a varied resume throughout his life.

Although he used to witness heated courtroom battles, working at Monmouth caused Briscoe to find out that he gets special perks that come with his job. He gets to see the faces of bright individuals as they pass through the market craving a quick snack. Also, he thoroughly enjoys the friendships he has made with many students over the years. He wishes to give some advice to the student body. “Enjoy your time now, because before you know it, 40 years will have gone by. Take as many opportunities as possible because soon it will be too late.”

Riley Hess
Contributing Writer

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