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‘The Store’ opens to meet student needs

Carson-Newman University’s Student Success Co-Director Gloria Walker cuts the ribbon for the grand opening of “The Store,” a career closet and food pantry. Pictured, from left, are: Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Ross Brummett; Linda Hensley; Senior Academic Advisor Tom Tabor; Academic Advisor Jessica Rickett; Assistant Professor Rae Dutro; Co-director of Student Success Amy Humphrey; Walker; C-N President Charles A. Fowler; Career Services Coordinator Mark Workman; Administrative Assistant Angela Wilson; Academic Advisor Tina Murrow; and Darrell Helton, president and CEO of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

(Oct. 10, 2015) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — A determination to make a difference in the lives of students led Carson-Newman University to open “The Store,” a food pantry and career closet.

A Thursday ribbon cutting celebrated the location’s grand opening in the University’s Baker Building. Local dignitaries, including representatives of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, joined Carson-Newman faculty, staff and students for the celebration.

I am so grateful to be a part of a community who not only sees a need and prays about a need, but through the empowerment of the Lord, meets a need,” said Carson-Newman President Charles A. Fowler. “We are a community of difference-makers.”

Students will have free access to the pantry and career closet. A related speaker series that also began Tuesday will provide students free workshops about how to successfully dress and prepare for job interviews.

Carson-Newman’s Student Success Center launched these initiatives in response to nationwide trends of college students facing food insecurities and struggling to afford professional clothing for job interviews. Nationwide, 41 percent of four-year college students are food insecure, according to a 2019 survey by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice.

The $10,000 renovations Student Success needed to begin The Store came through donations, grant monies and volunteer workers.

“This is born out of the reality of the sensitivity of our faculty and staff and their commitment to our students,” said Dr. Ross Brummett, senior vice president for Student Affairs. “This feels good, and right, and holy, because it reflects well who we are — our student-centeredness and our commitment to them.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and has over 2,700 students. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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