At last month's annual President's Commencement Dinner at the State University College of Technology at Delhi, college president Candace Vancko complimented a female student who said she was wearing "Regalia."
The word, meaning special decorative clothes worn for official ceremonies, isn't the moniker of the newest famous fashion designer or expensive brand; it's the name of SUNY Delhi's student-run thrift store, which will celebrate eleven years of operation in August.
The store is having a special bag sale this Wednesday to close out the season, according to Barbara Kaplan, assistant to the president and one of the store's "founding mothers."
“She was wearing this beautiful dress,” Kaplan said, of the young woman at the president's dinner. “President Vancko told her she loved it and the girl excitedly said, 'I got it at Regalia!' It cost her a dollar.”
Kaplan said the store has been "hugely" successful since opening Aug. 4, 2003. Located in the Farrell Student and Community Center on campus, Regalia items are sold for one dollar each and SUNY Delhi students receive a second item for free. Students from varying organizations, clubs, fraternities and sororities staff the store, she said.
But what makes the thrift store special, Kaplan said, is the fact that all proceeds go toward the college scholarship endowment. Since its opening, Regalia has earned more than $27,525 for student scholarships.
“We had no idea how well it would do financially,” Kaplan said.
Thanks to student volunteers, Regalia is open from noon until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday when college is in session. The students enjoy working at the store, Kaplan said.
They also enjoy shopping there, and frequently get excited over gently used "gems" they find. This "makes it all worthwhile," according to Kaplan.
“They come rushing into the store all the time saying 'I need a jacket' or 'I need dress pants!” Kaplan said. “Not everyone comes to college with professional clothing, but many need them for a presentation, project or class."