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Gold Torch Society offers mentoring to UNK's female students
Heidi England
Antelope Staff

“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.”

This is the motto of the Gold Torch Society, an organization established by UNK in 2000 to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for UNK alumni and undergraduate women.
Stephanie Vogel, a UNK alumna, created the Gold Torch Society 11 years ago because she felt that UNK needed a strong mentoring program.  She had heard that women who had mentoring were so much more successful than the women who did not.

Today, Michelle Widger, director of the Gold Torch Society and UNK alumni said being a member of the Gold Torch Society has benefits: job shadowing, introductions to people in specific fields and internships.

“I think it’s good for every woman to be a part of the Gold Torch Society, to hear real world experience from the women in their fields of study,” Widger said.

Every year between 30 and 45 women apply and only 25 are accepted. The women are chosen based on their academics, leadership skills, and campus and community activities.
Alumni members are chosen based upon their personal and professional accomplishments and their commitment to mentoring students.

“Students and mentors can be involved as much or as little as they want,” Widger said. “Sometimes they just hit it off well and meet several times throughout the year, and other times they meet at the meeting and that’s it.

“Sometimes students and alumni develop lifelong friendships and people from 10 years ago are still talking to their mentee and helping them with career decisions”

The 11th annual Gold Torch Society fall meeting is Oct. 22 through Oct. 23, 2010. If you are interested in the organization and want to learn more, you can contact Michelle Widger at 308-865-8474 or by e-mail at

To apply for the Gold Torch Society and to watch a video of what the Gold Torch Society is about, go to


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