Wofford Student Athlete Advisory Committee ensures that graduates are dressed for success

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Graduating Wofford College student-athletes received an additional gift this holiday: “Dress for Success” advice and a free custom business suit.

David Marvin ’16 and Sarah Traynor ’17, presidents of the Wofford Student Athlete Advisory Committee, proposed the initiative, which has been met with enthusiastic appreciation by student-athletes who are applying for jobs, interviewing for graduate school or starting careers.

“When David told us about the Dress for Success program after practice one day and that we were getting a free suit, it caught us off guard, in a good way,” says Evan Jacks ’16, a finance major from Johns Creek, Ga. “I’m interviewing for jobs, so this will definitely help.”

According to Marvin, a biology and chemistry major from Charlotte, N.C., this is a first suit for some of the student-athletes.

“One of the guys on the football team came up to me after practice and said he had an interview coming up and wasn’t sure how he was going to make it work. Now he’ll be able to dress appropriately and make a lasting first impression,” says Marvin.

Elizabeth Rabb, the college’s associate athletics director for compliance, says funding for the suits comes from the NCAA Student Assistance Fund.

“Wofford gives us a portion to fund the activities of the SAAC,” says Rabb. “Each SAAC board comes up with their priorities for the year, and I help them with budgeting.”

The Wofford Athletics Department teamed up with Men’s Wearhouse and its sister company, Twin Hill, to bring the Dress for Success program to Wofford. Between those graduating in December 2016 or May 2017, 93 Wofford seniors will benefit.

Before the end of the semester, seniors who graduated in December traveled to Men’s Wearhouse for a fitting. Keith Ferguson, manager of the company’s Spartanburg store, also came to campus to meet with all seniors to talk about what it means to dress for success. Joining Ferguson during the presentation were Wofford professional development experts from The Space in the Mungo Center.

“It’s fantastic because student-athletes work so hard, both studying and through athletics,” says Ferguson, who played college football and understands the time commitment involved in balancing academics and athletics.

The next step, according to Marvin, is a networking event in the spring, so student-athletes will have the opportunity to wear their suits, practice their interview skills and meet people in the business community interested in hiring Wofford student-athletes.

“I hope the SAAC will continue to make this a priority,” says Marvin.