Heart for the holidays: students come together for one of their own
December 15, 2010

Behind the academic persona of UNT's hospitality management program, there are over 800 students, faculty, and staff that comprise the huge heart of this community. Mid-September through the present, a star student, Lauren Dollarhide, has been in the hospital with a rare illness called Wegener's disease. 


UNT student organizations, the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, Merchandising Inc., Eta Sigma Delta, and the SMHM Ambassadors, immediately came together to help their fellow student and friend. Since September, students have collected money across the campus community, involved local restaurants such as Carino's, IHOP, Taco Cabana, and Applebees in fundraisers, held candlelight vigils, sold purple "Lauren" bracelets, and sponsored a blood drive, all totaling over $4,500 to help Lauren with her expenses.


Hospitality management student marketing coordinator, Julia O'Rourke, asked Lauren these questions


Julia: "How do you feel about the outpouring of support from UNT for you this semester?"

Lauren: "Laying here in my hospital bed I continue to be absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of support that my family and I have received. From fundraisers to the simple and encouraging words posted on https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/laurendollarhide, everyone has been so amazingly supportive. I believe this situation has not only brought out the best in people, but also exemplifies the true definition of 'hospitality'."

Julia: "What is the first thing you want to do when you come back to school?"

Lauren: "I look forward to the breath of fresh air and seeing all of the people who have played such key roles in supporting me and my family towards recovery. I will never be able to truly express the gratitude I have for these people. Without them, I'm not sure what this road to recovery would have looked like."


Julia: "What message would you like to send out to your fellow students for the holidays?"

Lauren: "You might be surprised how the littlest thing you do can mean to so much to others. Giving of yourself is the greatest gift that can be offered."

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