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Gold Torch Society celebrates 10 years: UNK alumnae partner up with female students for learning opportunities
Briana Duncan
Antelope Staff
Photo from Internet
The Gold Torch Society educates, inspires and connects women throughout UNK.

“To be born a girl is a gift we were given. To become a woman of wisdom and courage is a gift we give the world.” Those words were just a few of the inspiring and uplifting aspects discussed at the 10th Annual Gold Torch Society meeting and banquet.

The Gold Torch Society, created in 2000 by the UNK Alumni Association, organized to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for undergraduate women.

The alumnae are selected for their personal and professional accomplishments in the work force and also their commitment to mentoring students.

The student members of Gold Torch face an application process to be chosen, and they are selected on their passion to participate in a mentoring relationship and also be more involved in one of the most prestigious organizations on campus.

Michelle Widger, who graduated from Kearney State College in 1990, currently sponsors the Gold Torch Society. Widger is also the assistant director for the Alumni Association and put forth a lot of effort to make the weekend an ultimate success.

The meeting began on Friday, Sept. 25, when the students and their mentors were united for the first time during a reception at the Alumni House.

The festivities continued on Saturday with a series of sessions with alumnae panelists and a luncheon. These successful women discussed their advice on money management, creating your ideal future and balancing both professional and personal pursuits in life.

One of the powerful speeches of the weekend was by one of UNK’s most honorable alumnae, Karen K. Lueck Hunt. Hunt graduated from Kearney and continued her education to pursue her master’s degree. She earned her
law degree from the University of Southern California in 1973. Hunt was among 10 other women to graduate with a law degree and was later appointed to the bench as a judge in Anchorage, Alaska. Then in 1997, Hunt was also named one of the 25 most powerful people in Alaska.

Along with Hunt, other honorable guests included Judith Henggeler Spohr and Dr. Stephanie Heuftle Vogel, the founder of the Gold Torch Society.

UNK’s Greek Advisor, Tracy Lungrin, also was an alumnae mentor during the weekend for sessions which advised the students about how to envision their future goals and aspirations.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the students at UNK to gain knowledge about our alumni’s experiences in the work force,” said Jenny Gierhan, a public relations major from Kearney.

Saturday evening, students, their mentors and alumnae members were invited to the 10th annual banquet and dinner.

The banquet began with a welcome from Lucas Dart, the Alumni Association’s executive director and  featured Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles Bicak.


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