Sanger Learning Center celebrates 70th anniversary with free food, prizes

Bethany Stork

Food and live music welcomed dozens of students to celebrate 70 years of academic assistance from the Sanger Learning Center Friday evening.

The center was established in 1949 and currently offers free tutoring and study skills to more than 10,000 students each year, according to the center’s website. The center honored the anniversary by hosting a party on the third floor of Jester West Residence Hall. The celebration featured free food, door prizes, Sanger embroidered swag and a performance by the center’s musical ensemble. 

Sanger learning specialist Pamela Way said she has been part of the program for 15 years and looks forward to future anniversaries.

“Sanger’s grown over the years,” Way said. “Change is always hard, but our dedication to our students has never changed.”

Luna Malloy, Sanger peer academic coach, said the most rewarding aspect of her job is her ability to build relationships with students and watch them become more confident in their academic abilities.

“Sanger’s not only a job, but it’s a job with a purpose,” psychology sophomore Malloy said. “It’s geared towards helping people, which is what I love most about it.”

At the event, decorated tables with photographs of center staff and students from its 70-year history provided students with background history on the center.

“When someone says something is celebrating 70 years, it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s cool,’” engineering sophomore Emily Saunders said. “But actually seeing pictures, hearing stories, and seeing how much of an impact (Sanger’s) made really makes you excited to be part of the celebration.”

The celebration aimed to thank student educators and campus partners for their positive impact on the UT community, according to the center Facebook page. 

“I haven’t used Sanger before, but I really don’t know why I haven’t,” Saunders said. “The celebration is introducing me to a lot of the staff who really are so kind and excited to talk to me.”

Way said during her time at the center, she has seen many students facing stress and test anxiety. She said the center has helped students overcome academic struggles and make connections.

“The students are my favorite part of what Sanger does,” Way said. “It’s great to be able to see students grow and become more relieved and confident thanks to our staff. This celebration is for everyone involved in that process.”