More than 400 students, faculty, staff and alumni take part in professional attire sale

MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University students, faculty, staff and alumni packed JCPenney’s Murray location Feb. 17 for the University’s inaugural JCPenney Suit-Up event, providing steep discounts on professional attire for career fairs, interviews and more.

Matthew Purdy, Director of Murray State University Career Services, described the event as a collaboration between the University and JCPenney. From 4 to 9 p.m. that day, any University student, faculty, staff member or alum could stop by and take an extra 40 percent off men and women’s dress apparel and shoes.

A total of 433 people shopped during the event, including 362 students.

“We were blown away,” Purdy said. “I can’t thank the Career Services team and JCPenney enough. They were great, all the way from corporate to the local management here in Murray. It was just a great partnership all around.”

Purdy praised the work of Murray State career counselor Rebecca Dyer and Career Services intern Sarah Stellhorn in particular for making the Suit-Up event happen. The two worked with the JCPenney team for months in preparation.

“The idea was to have a time for students to have professional wear in time for our career fair March 5 and 6,” Dyer said. “It couldn’t have gone better. We had planned for 200 people to come out, but we ended up with more than 400. We were thrilled to see so many students make it.”

“It was not only a good way for students to get professional clothing at an affordable rate, but it was a reminder that they need to start getting their wardrobes together now for presentations, interviews, career fairs or anything else,” Stellhorn added. “This was an incredibly affordable way for students to start now and avoid sticker shock when they get their first job.”

To prepare for the sale, Career Services staff spent time training with JCPenney associates on how to measure clients for shirts, jackets and more. University representatives volunteered their time during the event, while JCPenney, which had held similar sales events with other universities before, brought in staff from other stores in the area to help handle the rush in Murray. This was the first-ever Suit-Up event between Murray State and JCPenney’s Murray location.

While details have not been finalized, Purdy said the sale was such a success that he expected more to come in the future.

The JCPenney Suit-Up event preceded the University’s All Majors and All Skills Career Fair, set for 2-5 p.m. March 5 in the Curris Center Ballroom. The STEM and OSH Career Fair will take place March 6 at the same location and time. Career Services office also offers a Career Closet that provides donated professional attire for students. For more information, contact Career Services at 270-809-3735.

Photo: A JCPenney sales associate, right, helps a client try on a suit jacket during the JCPenney Suit-Up sales event Feb. 17 at the store’s Murray location. The sale was held in partnership with Murray State University Career Services in an effort to help students, faculty, staff and alumni find professional attire at an affordable price.

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