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On One Pine Day, Whitworth Donors Can Help Aspiring Teachers Find the “Perfect Fit”

February 13, 2023

Whitworth University donors will have the opportunity to support a variety of projects that directly benefit students this week when Whitworth holds One Pine Day, its annual one-day giving event, Feb. 15-16.

This year, one of those projects is raising funds for the Teacher Education Pro Closet, which provides free professional attire to education students for their student teaching experiences. Education majors are required to complete a 450-hour experience in a K-12 classroom and several shorter experiences, which all require professional clothing. For students experiencing financial hardship, the cost of such clothing can be a barrier to their academic and career success.

Lisa Laurier, Ed.D., department chair and professor of education, says the Pro Closet was launched after two students lost placements due to inappropriate clothing. She says professional clothes don’t just provide entry into the field, but build Whitworth education majors’ confidence in how they present themselves and how they are viewed by colleagues, supervisors, their students, and those students’ families and caregivers.

“The department is blessed to have the support of our community to be able to meet this need and ensure our candidates are not hampered by clothing resources when pursuing their educational and professional goals,” Laurier says.  

Education major Lauren Elizabeth Petersen ’25 is one of many students who have benefited from the Pro Closet. 

“The Pro Closet at Whitworth alleviated a lot of stress that I was dealing with,” Petersen says. “Professional outfits can be pricey, and they are a necessity when it comes to student teaching. I did not believe I would be able to afford it. I was nervous about finding the time to put the extra hours in at work to provide myself with the necessary wardrobe for my time in the classroom. With the closet my peers and I were able to pick from a large variety of clothes that we knew we could use in our placements.” 

There are 19 other projects to support during One Pine Day including a project to pay for books to help Christian students grow in their discipleship journeys, a project to create a new study lounge for history students, and a project to provide new flag poles for the Intercultural Student Center. For more on One Pine Day and a complete list of projects, click here

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 2,500 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or