Described as the house mom by the members of the Tau Kappa Epilson (TKE) fraternity house, former TKE Sweetheart Dawn Morgan has proudly cooked for TKE for 22 years.
Morgan said she loves working for the fraternity house. Throughout the years, she has served about 350 members and said even though all of these boys have been picky eaters throughout the years, she still loves every one of them the same.
In addition to cooking, Morgan has been able to help TKE throughout their time living in the fraternity house in other ways. From big issues to small, she has helped TKE members through many of their problems.
“They are like my children. When they are struggling, I am struggling,” said Morgan.
Morgan said she still recalls a funny moment she had when helping one of the members of the house finish a chore.
“I have taught a kid how to mop,” said Morgan. “He had to mop the basement for a chore one day, and he asked me to help him. I thought he was trying to get me to do the work for him. I went down to the basement and showed him how, and he mopped so softly nothing happened. Then, I told him he had to put pressure on the mop. He ended up putting too much pressure. My patience ran out, and I went upstairs. I asked him how it went later on, and he said it was finished, but there were slivers in his hands.”
Morgan said she vows to make sure TKE members will turn into clean gentlemen as they grow through their years in the fraternity house.
“The boys know if the kitchen is not clean to my standards, I won’t cook until it is,” said Morgan. “I am always the first to support these boys, but if they are doing something that could potentially hurt them, I am the first to correct them.”
Morgan, who grew up in Albion, has lived here her whole life. Given their different backgrounds, TKE members have been able to show their gratitude to Morgan by teaching her a few things throughout the years.
“These boys have taught me a lot about this world. They all come from different backgrounds and areas of the United States. I have learned so much about different cultures from these boys,” said Morgan.
Aside from learning from one another, Morgan said she just enjoys her time at the fraternity house.
“Yes I come here to get paid, but when I come it is like I am walking into a second home,” said Morgan. “I don’t just come for work, I come to visit with these boys and see how they are doing.” .
Morgan also said that although the work is not always easy, it is always memorable and enjoyable. Even though she loves the members of TKE, they can be picky eaters, which adds some challenges to her job.
“I have no problem feeding the boys what they want, but I can get a few picky kids. I probably change what I cook for them each semester,” said Morgan. “One time they decided they wanted to eat healthy. It lasted about three days, and everything went bad. And then they asked me where all the chicken tenders went.”
The members of the TKE fraternity have also supported Morgan through the years.
“We are like a family. It is a mother and son relationship,” said Morgan. “One year, I was moving over the summer, and whoever was in town came out and helped me.”
As Dawn speaks very highly of the boys in TKE, they do the same for her.
“If we ever forget to eat a meal when we are busy, she makes sure to make us something,” said Devon Funk, a junior from Battle Creek and a member of TKE. “It is really great to constantly feel that type of support from her.”
Not only do these boys appreciate Dawn as a cook in the TKE house but also as a member of the house.
“I love hanging out with Dawn,” said Funk. “She could sit and talk to each of us for hours.”
Funk is not the only one who adores Dawn’s presence in the house. Many members of the fraternity house described their relationship with Dawn as their second mom.
“Her opinion is very valued in the house,” said Funk. “If we need advice, we go to Dawn.”