Over 1,400 University of Georgia students took part in the UGA Career Center’s Dawgs Suit Up event at JCPenney in Athens on September 9. The event provided students with professional attire at discounted prices—full ensembles were available for less than $200.
Scott Williams, executive director of the UGA Career Center, and his staff brought the program to UGA last year after being inspired by similar programs assisting students with demonstrated financial need.
“At the time, there was nothing in place to assist students with professional dress needed for career fairs, employer interviews, graduate school interviews, and the working world,” said Williams. “Through this initiative, students receive the professional attire they need—at reduced or no cost—to pursue their dream jobs or graduate programs.”
The Dawgs Suit Up program provides scholarships for those students who can’t afford to participate. The Dawgs Suit Up Scholarship covers all the costs of a student’s participation, from attendance to the purchasing of their professional clothing.
Support for scholarships came from UGA alumni and friends as well as the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees and increased the number of scholarships awarded from 589 over two events in 2017 to 592 scholarships in this fall event alone.
“The outcomes of the Dawgs Suit Up scholarship program are immediate and impactful and have garnered widespread support across campus,” said Williams. “All parties are excited to continue this effort as it represents a tangible way to engage donors in helping students succeed.”
“Through this program, UGA has taken a step toward solving an immediate need that will create a brighter future for our students.”