Students Kay Hamilton and Terri Metcalf shopped at 2nd Gear shortly after its opening in 1975. Billed as “a new recycling project at UWGB,” the resale shop operated out of glass-walled, cozy quarters on the Library-Learning Center’s first-floor concourse. Used clothes, albums and kitchen items were hot sellers. Run by volunteers from the University League women’s service organization, the shop raised money for student aid ranging from grants to the childcare center to funding for an emergency loan fund to donations in support of lecture series and art exhibits, library materials and Weidner Center equipment. Faith Sanders was the longtime coordinator, and volunteers handled sales, stocking, consignments and bookkeeping. The University League eventually disbanded, a student proposal to take over the shop failed to materialize, and 2nd Gear (located in the general vicinity of today’s Garden Café) closed its doors for good on March 31, 1999. Over the years, the University League awarded student scholarships totaling more than $50,000. That initiative survives. The League directed its remaining funds, more than $20,000 (a healthy sum in 1999), to create a perpetual scholarship endowment.
This weekend UWGB Student Life will be sponsoring the program, “Let’s Go Thriftin’.” The day will feature shopping adventures to all of the Green Bay thrift stores.
This reminded us of our very own thrift store, Second Gear. Second Gear opened in 1976 and was located in the concourse level of the UWGB Cofrin Library. It was considered very much a part of our EcoU philosophy.
Coordinated by the University League, students and staff could consign or donate items to be sold to others on campus. Shoppers at Second Gear would find clothing (dresses were only 25 cents!); books; toys and games; household goods; jewelry and more.
Most of the proceeds from sales were directed towards student scholarships sponsored by the University League. When the University League officially disbanded in 1999, Second Gear also closed its doors.