A ‘hidden gem’ in the dining center

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 A ‘hidden gem’ in the dining center

Lory Erving has worked in Dining Services at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for 35 years.

For more than 35 years, Lory Erving has greeted students, served meals and helped make students feel at home. A native of Hazel, South Dakota, who moved to Lincoln in 1985 after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in music education from South Dakota State University, Erving says that students always bring light to her life.

While initially Erving chose to work at the university to increase her pay and benefits, along the way she fell in love with the campus and the students.

“I was working five part-time jobs at the time, and one of them was at Bonanza making minimum wage with Rosie Hicks,” recalls Erving. “She was a Selleck icon! Anyway, she told me to apply at UNL.”

Throughout her time in the dining services, Erving claims to have held almost every position in the dining halls, including as a cook. She says one of her greatest lessons learned is never to be afraid to do something differently or to try something new.

“When training others, it’s ok to be very thorough as the trainer doesn’t know which skills the trainee has – and it’s most important to be patient with those around you.”

Her patience and appreciation of others are virtues well-known among students in the Cather Dining Center. A few years ago, a trio of students gave her a painting that read, “You are somebody that makes everybody feel like somebody.” This image still hangs in her station, and she says it regularly reminds her to be the one that makes a difference.

Additionally, last summer a New Student Orientation leader brought a group of parents by the dining center specifically to take a picture with Erving, indicating that she’d been selected as “one of UNL’s hidden gems.”

When asked what keeps her engaged in her work, Erving says that her faith is a constant that keeps her going strong in her efforts to continue to bless others’ lives.

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