Wallace Burrows dishes out omelettes and wisdom

Wallace Burrows serves up to 500 omelettes each day.
Wallace Burrows serves up to 500 omelettes each day.

This is one entry of the "Ten People to Watch" list in July's Towerview.

Omelette aficionado. Fashion guru. Sage of wisdom. All of these things have been said to describe Wallace Burrows, Jr., who is one of the East Campus Marketplace's most memorable employees.

Burrows wakes up at 3:30 a.m. to make sure he's ready to serve up some of Duke's tastiest eggs by the time the first freshman enters the Marketplace at 7. Serving upwards of 500 omelettes each day, Burrows quickly becomes a mainstay of the University's first-year experience.

If you don't know Burrows by the end of your first month as a freshman, you don't really go to Duke.

He does so much more than banter with the kids standing in line. He gives people nicknames. He remembers their orders, whether they're a future NBA player or Fortune 500 CEO or just another kid who calls Duke home. He shares a smile with every person he meets. He treats students the way he would want people to treat his own children.

When he isn't running the grill, Burrows is practicing his second passion—art. Whether he is airbrushing designs on T-shirts or imagining his next work on a blank canvas, Burrows' passion is the driving force behind his creativity.

Four years after students first mosey into his corner of the Marketplace, they return just before graduation for Duke's annual Back to East event. Burrows stills remembers their names and their orders, greeting them with the same warm smile they saw at their first breakfast.


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