Truman’s Closet, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, celebrated its grand opening Tuesday afternoon in the MU Student Center.
Sponsored by the Missouri Students Association, Truman’s Closet is a clothes-lending service that aims to provide students with the professional attire and skills to succeed as they begin their transition into the professional world.
“(Since I was appointed,) a lot of it has been getting the rest of my executive board together and figuring out what their personal projects are,” Truman’s Closet coordinator Kathleen Kowalsky said. “I’ve been working a lot with the volunteers, getting the process going and getting the word out there and getting people applying…. My main job is overseeing everyone’s personal projects and making sure that they go into play as they’re supposed to.”
At the grand opening, the Truman’s Closet executive board provided students with the information about the program’s location, its hours and how it works. The executive board was also present to field questions that students might have concerning the program and how to take advantage of it.
Director of Student Services Sean Joy said it is exciting to have Truman’s Closet operating.
“I woke up this morning and realized that it was fully open, and so I’m really excited to finally get students, faculty and staff into our space on Thursday,” Joy said.
Kowalsky expressed her excitement and praised her executive board for its hard work and dedication.
“It feels so unreal. It’s awesome,” Kowalsky said. “We’ve been working on this for months, and to finally see it come together and the opening of it is so so exciting. Yesterday we had a ribbon-cutting, and I could not be more proud of our team. They’re the most incredible people.”
Joy discussed some of the feedback he has received since the ribbon cutting yesterday afternoon, and said he is pleased with the caliber of student involvement so far.
“I’ve gotten emails already, so it’s pretty exciting,” Joy said.
Joy said Truman’s Closet volunteers can pick up donations anywhere on campus. The donations can be also dropped off at the Center of Student Involvement Office or at the Truman’s Closet location, at 1400 Rock Quarry Road next to Tiger Pantry.
Joy, who has been heavily involved within Truman’s Closet from the start, talked about the challenges he faced that others newer to the program did not quite have to experience.
“I think the biggest challenge was really putting everything together,” Joy said. “I had so many things, and so many things came up that needed to be completed, but it was ‘How can we get all these things to work together, to connect the pieces in order to be successful?’”
Truman’s Closet Fundraising Chairwoman Ashton Chandler joined the executive board in mid-September.
“It’s amazing (to be opening),” Chandler said. “It’s kind of surreal because we’ve been working on this for a little over a month, and it’s nice to see it all come together. (Our greatest challenge) has been putting all of our ideas together and trying to figure out what’s possible and what’s not, and what’s appealing to the students.”
MSA’s Board of Elections Commissioner David Wettroth said he has witnessed Truman’s Closet since ideas began to circulate, and said he thinks the service itself, not the educational component, is most needed.
“It grew from being just an idea to having its executive staff to having all these clothes and getting donations,” Wettroth said. “We showed a need for something like this on campus, and people who wanted to see this become a reality made sure that they had all the necessary resources that they needed to get off the ground.”
Senior Jae Hwan Song said he looks forward to using Truman’s Closet in the future when he will need professional attire to land jobs as a business major.
“As an international student, it was hard for me to get professional clothing that matches my body type…, so I’m looking forward to being able to borrow when I have interviews or special events that I want to go to but don’t really have things to wear,” Song said.
Senior Melissa Noftsinger, who talked with the executive board at Tuesday’s opening, said she plans to contribute to Truman’s Closet as opposed to using it for her own needs.
“I’m interested in donating clothes because I think it’s really important,” Noftsinger said. “The way you look is really important in landing jobs and opportunities.”
Moving forward, Kowalsky said she plans to continually expand Truman’s Closet so that it can serve more students, for a larger variety of occasions.
“In a year, I would love to expand from just business attire into everyday wear,” Kowalsky said. “By the time I graduate, I want Truman’s Closet to be for day-to-night … so everyday wear, to business and professional wear, to when you want to go out at night.”