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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Sharp’s $70K donation aids suit banks across System

Photo by File

Chancellor Sharp speaks at a Board of Regents meeting in April.

A conversation during a football game helped yield a donation of $70,000 towards “suit banks” across the A&M System.
Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp donated $70,000 through his Chancellor’s Century Council members, to help in the establishment and growth of suit banks at the Texas A&M University System’s 11 universities.
Sharp’s $70,000 donation will be distributed across the 11 Texas A&M System schools. The flagship campus received $20,000 and each of the system’s 10 regional universities received $5,000, either to start a Career Closet program or to support existing programs aimed at helping students with their professional wardrobes, according to an A&M System news release.
The announcement puts a name to the anonymous donation of $20,000 that aided the authorization of Career Closet, a program that hopes to loan professional attire to students in need starting January 2016, by the A&M Student Senate Sept. 23. A $4,000 donation from the Career Center earlier this year preceded Sharp’s donation.
Speaker of the Student Senate Aaron Mitchell said he brought the idea of contributing to the Career Closet to Sharp during  the football game against Nevada. Mitchell said the idea was brought up during an event for the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Council, a group made up of the student body president and speaker of the senate from each A&M System school.
“We had already been working on the idea of Career Closet, and we were trying to think about ways to fund the project, and I know that he’d done a lot of fundraising for things like this in the past and has had success in those areas, so I went and talked to him about it,” Mitchell said. “And he was really receptive to the idea — he was really excited about how it could help students in the future.”
Wayne Beckermann, municipal affairs vice president, initiated the project along with public service and administration graduate student Mason Parish. Beckermann said the chancellor’s donation to Career Closet has been above and beyond expectations for the project.
“We have always believed in the mission of the Career Closet and its potential to succeed at Texas A&M, nonetheless we also initially envisioned a smaller scale launch along with a longer period of development,” Beckermann said. “But the Chancellor’s donation and the support of SGA completely raised our expectations to an entirely new level.”
Beckermann said the SGA has every intention of being as responsive and helpful as possible to other A&M System schools with suit bank programs.
“We are all going to be learning together, and we want to lift every single A&M System school up to the same level of excellence that we expect of ourselves,” Beckermann said. “Every student within the Texas A&M System deserves to feel confident and professional during their interviews, and we want to lead the charge to achieve that goal.”
Beckermann said the importance of Sharp’s involvement with the program cannot be understated.
“Chancellor Sharp has a reputation of never settling, and constantly pushing the system to new heights,” Beckermann said. “His support of the Career Closet is a testament of his dedication to students and adding value to Texas A&M. Chancellor Sharp’s donation and support means we have to live up to his expectations of excellence, and we look forward to meeting that challenge head on.”
Mitchell said Sharp’s donation to Career Closet will have a large impact on the project.
“He’s helped us a lot with fundraising already and I know when we’re looking for support elsewhere the fact that the chancellor has already put his faith in us does nothing but positives for our project,” Mitchell said.

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