FAMU partners with J.C. Penny for Suit-Up day

Arnita Tucker-McFarland, (left), Shereada Harrell, directors of the FAMU Career and Professional Development Center at the raffle station for students.
Photo credit: DeBria Payne


Florida A&M University partnered with J.C. Penny to host a Suit-Up event from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on April 15, giving students the opportunity to purchase professional business attire for 40 percent off retail prices.

“FAMU is the first HBCU to participate in the J.C. Penny Suit-Up event,”said Arnita Tucker-McFarland, the assistant director of FAMU’s Career and Professional Development Center. “J.C. Penny was a natural partnership because the store manager is SBI alumni.”

As the second year for the suit-up event, FAMU and J.C. Penny plans to incorporate a Suit-Up day each semester. Director of the FAMU Career and Professional Development Center Shereada Harrell said that the purpose of the event is to help students to be prepared for job opportunities.

  “We wanted to help students prepare for career fairs, summer internships, and any job opportunity,” Harrell said. “It’s an excellent opportunity for students at a very reasonable price.”

The J.C. Penny general manager at Governor Square Mall, Jean Lalanne, said that for an even greater success rate, Suit-Up day should be supported by more students.

“The biggest thing is helping the community, we call it the grass-root effort which drives people into the store giving them great deals,” Lalanne said. “If we had more student involvement like Greek letter organizations or entire athletic teams to represent, the event would be an even bigger smash.”

There was a great turnout of participants for the event. Many students including Rashad Austin, a sophomore mechanical engineering student, found the event to be very beneficial.

“I think it’s a really great event because we already shop here so to have the professional clothes even more discounted is a plus,” Austin said.

Faculty from the Undergraduate Student Success Center, School of Business & Industry, and other various departments volunteered for the event and donated gift bags. Students who attended the event received raffle tickets with a chance to win a $50 and $100 gift card from J.C. Penny. The J.C. Penny salon also provided free consultations and Sephora provided free mini makeovers.

The event is very beneficial for students especially for important events like graduation and the annual career fair. The directors of the FAMU Career and Professional Development Center emphasized how the event is geared to prepare students for any professional setting. Suits and business attire is understood to be a major component to professionalism. However, nice suits and business attire is typically high-priced for a college student’s budget. Considering this, the Suit-Up event is very impactful for students who are trying to look professional while saving money.