University Women's Connection Plays Santa to First-Year Women

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Heather Marker (left) and Alex Mallos (Right) are thrilled with their holiday gift bags from the University Women's Connection.
Heather Marker (left) and Alex Mallos (Right) are thrilled with their holiday gift bags from the University Women's Connection.

Despite the winter’s first whopper of a snowstorm, members and friends of Michigan Technological University’s University Women’s Connection (UWC) filled 250 holiday gift bags for first-year women students at Michigan Tech. They were delivered to the residence halls by the staff of Student Life.

“It was a very sweet and unexpected gift,” said roommates Jessica VanHoof and Amie Chaloupka.  “I felt really special,” Christine Basso remarked. “It made me really like being a girl on campus.”

The gift bags were made possible by a donation from an anonymous donor whose contribution was recognized at the UWC's holiday gathering. She and her late husband, a Michigan Tech alumnus, have supported numerous Tech initiatives all across campus. Most recently, she gave a donation to launch a varsity women's soccer program.

The UWC is an organization for women from Michigan Tech and the University's community. Half of the $20 annual dues is used to support scholarships for deserving Tech students. The UWC sponsors three events a year and interest groups such as a book club. More information on the University Women's Connection is online.

This is the fourth year that the UWC has made a holiday project of filling gift bags for first-year students.

“Students are always excited to get a yellow slip (package notice) in their mailboxes, and when it’s from someone they don’t even know, it’s that much more special,” said Travis Pierce, director of housing and residential life. “Housing truly enjoys partnering with the University Women’s Connection to do this for the students.” 

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.