Abele Scholars Dress for Success Program

Morgan Mason (momason@ursinus.edu)

Navigating the real world after Ursinus is an intimidating thought for many students. The Abele Foundation Scholars Family, though, has thought long and hard on how they can make this transition a bit easier for their students for years to come. By creating a “Dress for Success Program,” the Abele Scholars will be looking good, and feeling even better for their future job interviews in the coming months!

The Abele Foundation Scholars Program was established in the Fall of 2018 by active alumna Will Abele ‘61. The program chartered its gracious support to seven incoming Ursinus freshmen, as well as one student who has since graduated. The Abele Foundation Scholars Award is a prestigious scholarship that strives to provide support to “high achieving students with demonstrated financial need,” according to the Ursinus College Website. The scholarship program not only strives to give students the extra financial support to be able to succeed at a four-year liberal arts institution like Ursinus, but to provide them with a tight-knit, positive community of like-minded individuals as they navigate through their college years and beyond. 

The Abele Scholars Program has three main objectives: “transitioning to and through college to career, navigating colleges hidden curriculum, and a passion for one’s community.” With their pilot class getting ready to graduate this spring, preparing for what life will look like for scholars after graduation is becoming a focus more than ever. Scholars have done their prep work, taken their courses, made lovely connections with faculty and staff, and maybe even met the people who will be at their weddings. But they may not have any idea what they will wear to that job interview. Maybe their old prom suit that’s really too small? Or that nice-ish sweater that you really hate the color of but it’s all you got? The Abeles understand this all too well and they don’t want it to be an additional burden for their scholars.

By providing their senior scholars with a “shopping spree” to the Philadelphia Outlets, they hope to provide business-appropriate clothing for future jobs, interviews, and other formal occasions to which their future endeavors may take them. On January 21, 2022, the Assistant Director of Admissions and Abele Scholars Recruiter, Allison Hoffman, accompanied the senior scholars to make sure they were ready to conquer the world after UC. 

Abele Scholar, Megan DePaul 22, expressed her gratitude for the Dress to Success program, stating, “when we were shopping, Allison told us to shop for what made us feel confident. I now feel like when I enter an interview wearing professional clothes, I’ll feel confident and proud to share who I am.” 

The Abele Foundation Scholars Program is continually thinking outside of the box. With generous and involved donors like Will and Joan Abele, students feel like they are involved in something bigger than themselves and a lifelong fellowship more or less than simply a scholarship.