UWF President Saunders pledges $10k for new JCPenney Suit Up program at UWF

The University of West Florida is partnering with JCPenney to participate in the JCPenney Suit Up program, a national initiative that allows students to purchase discounted professional wear. UWF President Martha Saunders has pledged $10,000 of personal funds to support the initiative.

“This initiative matters to our students,” Saunders said. “It creates awareness of the importance of appropriate attire for the workplace, and it gives them confidence when interviewing for that all-important first professional opportunity.  The old saying, ‘look good, do good,’ is true. Every detail matters. That is why my husband and I were happy to provide funding for this project.”

The proposal for the initiative was brought forward to President Saunders from a UWF student, Abigail Megginson, a senior journalism and political science major who serves as the director of communications for the Student Government Association.

“Suit Up allows students to choose the professional clothing they need to succeed at a price they can realistically afford,” Megginson said. “No student should have to turn down an opportunity because they don’t have the means to look the part. This collaboration between UWF and JCPenney will give Argos one of the crucial tools they need in order to pursue a career after graduation, one they might not otherwise have.”

In Spring 2018, UWF will host an event that will provide students a 40 percent off coupon for any purchase of professional clothing at the JCPenney located in University Town Plaza. UWF Career Services will also launch a campaign to educate students about appropriate professional wear. The campaign will culminate in the Suit Up event at JCPenney.

Through fundraising efforts and donations, UWF Career Services will also purchase gift cards to JCPenney that will be distributed to eligible students who demonstrate a need that aligns with the mission of the program. Students will be selected through an application process.

“We look forward to the Suit Up program at UWF because we are confident that this will reduce the amount of barriers between college students and their professional dreams,” said Kishane Patel, UWF Student Body President. “We hope this will inspire students to reach their full potential.”

For more information, contact UWF Career Services at 850.474.2254 or