Lunch Box Connects NSU Graduates Across the Globe

As a Presidential Intern, Kami Ames ’17 (formerly Armistead) received a Norfolk State University lunch box while working her internship in the Office of the President. The yellow-gold lunch box bearing the “Office of the President” and the NSU logo was a graduation gift and a remembrance of Norfolk State.

But the lunch box became more than just a container for her lunchtime meal. It has served as a beacon to connect those who love Norfolk State.

Ames, who had also been an NSU Honors College student, was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and was assigned to Camp Humphreys, South Korea, as her first duty station. When she went into work each day, she would pack the lunch box and carry it with her. “I usually put the lunch box on my desk. One day, this soldier was walking past my desk and he said, ‘Oh, you went to Norfolk State?’” When Ames said yes, he told her that he had too. She liked that out of the hundreds of schools in the U.S., that thousands of miles away from home she met someone who also attended her alma mater.

That wasn’t the first and only time. Ames says she met about 20 people who were drawn to her because of the insulated bag that sat on her desk. And each time they would ask, if she had attended Norfolk State and would let her know that they did too or that they knew about NSU.

“Because we were thousands of miles away from home, it made me feel good to connect with people that went to Norfolk State,” said Ames, “It would make me smile. It also sparked many conversations and helped me build relationships with some of the senior leaders in Korea.”

All the way in South Korea, the Norfolk State lunch box served as a connection for her and those who know and love Norfolk State. Now a first lieutenant, Ames will be going to Fort Richardson, Alaska, as her next duty station. As for the lunch box? “Yes,” says Ames, “I will take it to Alaska.”