Monmouth College has honored 55-year-employee Carl Hamberg for his staggering continuous service with its food service provider, which is now Aramark.

Monmouth recognized Hamberg for that 55-year milestone at its annual Employee Recognition Event, held Dec. 8 at the American Legion.

Much has changed since Hamberg came to work at the college, the most recent being Oct. 6, when a fire in Stockdale Center closed the building for several weeks, according to a college release Friday.

“I was off from the 6th of October until I came back on the 3rd of November,” he said in the release.

Parts of Stockdale Center are now open, although meals will still be served in the College’s Center for Science and Business until early February. In the meantime, the recovering building, which was fairly new when Hamberg began his career, looks a little different in some areas.

“My dad found the job in the newspaper,” he said, noting he lived in what he called the “Oquawka washboard” and had just graduated from Union High School. “He asked me if I could work there, and I said I could. I was interviewed by Tom Carlson right here in the Private Dining Room,” which has temporarily been converted into a storage room.

“On my first day, I peeled 500 pounds of potatoes,” said Hamberg. “I used to bake donuts, and I’ve unloaded trucks, worked with pots and pans and then the dish room,” where he currently works.

“Carl has been a joy to work with since I started working here,” said Angela Cox, Aramark’s dining service director. “He always has a positive attitude, and everyone enjoys working with him. Carl is a very dedicated employee and he seems to love to work here serving the Monmouth College students.”

Hamberg’s longevity has been boosted by good health. Five days a week, he walks nearly a mile to work and back.

Over the years, Hamberg has crossed paths with scores of fellow employees. Some of the co-workers who stand out in his memory are Sarah Greenstreet, Juanita Acre, Pam Fields, Roy Boyd, Orville Showalter and Ronnie Jones, the college release said.

“I like it,” he said of the 55-year milestone. “I’m glad to work here.”