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Suit Up provides students with professional clothing to better prepare them for interview opportunities.
Now in their second year, the UNT Diamond Eagles Giving Society has voted to fund Students of Need: Suit Up, Fuel Up, Cap Up, an exciting Student Affairs initiative that will promote student success and career readiness through three essential, need-based programs.
The estimated $90,000 in funding was generated through the Diamond Eagles’ unique venture philanthropy model, where members pool together annual, individual contributions of $1000+ to fund a high-impact campus project determined by a member majority vote.
“The Diamond Eagles are leaders and champions in the UNT community,” says David Wolf, UNT’s vice president for university advancement. “Their example continues to inspire and encourage others to show their Mean Green pride and invest in UNT’s future.”
With the Diamond Eagles backing their project, the Division of Student Affairs will create a centralized location in Crumley Hall for three existing student service programs: Suit Up, the UNT Food Pantry and Mean Green Gowns for Grads. Centralizing the programs will minimize labor costs and allow students to have their needs met with privacy and discretion.
“Many students do not have professional clothing for job interviews, are faced with food insecurity and often cannot afford graduation regalia. That is where we come in,” says Elizabeth With, UNT’s vice president for student affairs. “We believe that no student should have to go hungry, and every student deserves the chance to walk across the stage at graduation and land a great job.”
Each program aims to solve problems that stand in the way of a student’s well-being and achievement: Suit Up equips students with professional clothing to better prepare them for internship and interview opportunities; the Food Pantry strives to ensure that student success is not compromised by food insecurity; and Mean Green Gowns for Grads offers free cap and gown rentals to alleviate the hardship of graduation expenses for low income and first-generation college students.
“We know the number of students impacted by food insecurity, homelessness and other financial obstacles continues to grow,” says Maureen McGuiness, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs. “This project and its funding show how the UNT community is committed to supporting students and their success.”
This substantial investment from the Diamond Eagles will enable the programs to move into a new, strategically planned location and expand vital offerings and services. Notably, the project will provide Suit Up with dedicated fitting rooms and the ability to loan professional clothing year-round, enable the UNT Food Pantry to offer refrigerated and frozen foods for the first time and provide Mean Green Gowns for Grads more space to store regalia and extend the program’s reach.
“We are truly honored that the Diamond Eagles Society is investing in us as we continue to invest in our students,” says With. “The mission in Student Affairs is to help UNT students succeed, and with this funding we will be able to continue doing that in larger and more impactful ways.”
To learn more about the Diamond Eagles, or to join in time to participate in next year’s project selection, visit one.unt.edu/diamondeagles.