Tilford’s Hidden Treasure

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Gonzaga’s Tilford Center for Professionals Studies houses a small coffee shop known around campus not for its java, but rather for the vivacious, extroverted supervisor that runs it, Margie Card.

Three years ago Card came to GU looking for a second job after being demoted from a manager to an associate at Pier One. Card admitted that design is her passion, but she has embraced the coffee world with gusto. One year after being hired, Margie was made the supervisor of Tilford’s cafe.

She has been infusing the shop with personality ever since. “I’m goofy, I’m very intense. I’m an extrovert, and I have a temper… I’m Italian,” she said. Card is a wife and mother of one son who has moved out. With an empty nest, she is more than willing to act as a motherly figure to the students around GU.

Andrea Navarre, a senior, has worked with Card as a barista for the past two years. “She’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet. She always feels the need to take care of you, and not just with work, with your personal life too,” Navarre said. While at work, they discuss all parts of their lives, and Navarre is comfortable looking to Card for advice and support.

When it comes to serving faculty, Card’s role changes from maternal to jokester. “I like to tease people, and I like to tease them a lot,” she said. She likes to get to know the faculty because she says they are all so unique, but that it takes some prodding and joking for them to open up.

Card said that her favorite part of the job, by far, is the students. “It’s rewarding. They are just so appreciative of any little thing you do for them,” she said. Student preferences dictate her soup choices and her latte specials usually bear the name of the student who suggests it.

When Card first began working at Tilford’s, she got a panini maker at the request of students. “Turns out it was illegal, it broke a fire code because it wasn’t in a hood,” says Card. But she didn’t simply throw the sandwich maker out. “We had a funeral. We had it draped and put flowers on top of the casket,” she said, laughing at the memory.

Card clearly goes extra lengths for her students, and the students reciprocate this adoration. Alana Buller, a sophomore, stops by Tilford’s for a latte at least once a day, if not more. “Margie gets to know all of her customers personally and it shows the sense of community that we all love about Gonzaga,” Buller said.

Luckily for students like Buller and Navarre, Card has no plans of leaving GU anytime soon. “I will be here until I retire or until I win the lottery, whichever comes first,” Card said. But her open love for her job and the smile on her face seem to say that she wouldn’t leave even if she hit it rich.

By Savy Varyu

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4 replies

  1. I love Margie! She makes the trek to Tilford worth it.

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  2. I am very blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people! I enjoy my job very much! Being with you students brings a lot of joy to my life!

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  3. I worked in Tilford every single day for my last two years at Gonzaga and loved saying hi to Margie every time I walked in. She always knew how to take care of me, too! With either a free cup of coffee or a cookie, or even CAKE! And once tried to set me up with a boy she thought I would be great with 😉

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  4. I had tears in my eyes this afternoon after speaking with Kay about Margie’s departure. A minute later, I saw Margie with my mind’s eye. There she was, with her smile. She did not want me to cry. She said she was in a great place. I stopped to cry and then hear the song of the birds. I was by the Foley Library, walking to my car parked not far from the Jesuit House. I then decided to say a “Hail Mary” for Margie. I ended up saying 5 Hail Mary. Margie also went the extra mile for us. My daughter, who is 7 1/2 enjoyed coming with me to Tilford because she has a friend there call Ms Margie. I told her this afternoon that her friend is now in Heaven.
    Repose en paix ma chère amie – translated – rest in peace my dear friend.

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