As first lady Colleen Patterson packed for her move to Ship she realized it was time for a few items in her closet to find a new home.

“Everybody gets to a point where we have clothes we never wear. Charles even asked me ‘do you really need that many pairs of black pants.'” said Patterson.

Looking for a good home for her clothes and excited to become a part of her new community at Shippensburg University, Patterson discovered the Raider Ready Professional Dress Closet. Managed by the Career, Mentoring and Professional Development Center, in collaboration with the Women Leaders of the College of Business, the closet offers free wardrobe options for students as they prepare for interviews, internships, and career fairs. The goal is to provide students with the confidence and attire they need to be successful as professionals. The donated and gently used clothing items are available for undergraduate and graduate students at Ship.

Patterson, eager to connect and work with students, spent a day in the closet with students as they prepared for Ship’s annual fall career fair. A former fashion student herself, Patterson felt right at home helping students find the right fit. From sport coats to dresses, shoes, belts, and everything in between, the students dress for success with her.

Students were thankful for her donations and help. A few days after, she got to see a pair of her pants in action as a student announced, “I’m wearing your pants and I love them!”

The rewarding experience left her excited to work in the closet again and go through a few more boxes in the attic of the Martin House. She is hopeful faculty, staff, alumni and community members will consider donating to this worthy project.

“It is a great asset for the university and I’m excited to continue to support it,” she added.

Read to try out a new look for an upcoming interview or internship? Learn more at

Ready to donate? Contact Alix Rouby at the CMPDC, or call (717) 477-1484.