The GoldShirt

Tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.

In the fall of 2014 I was in my second year of teaching at Northern Kentucky University and at this time had taught more than 300 NKU students. Each one of them is memorable in their own way. But during that semester, I met two students that had a different sense of purpose. Will Weber and Jake Ollier did not know each other, and probably are as different from each other as possible. However, they did share a passion for economics and a passion for creating something bigger than themselves. They met at the end of 2014, and during that meeting The GoldShirt was born.

Jake Ollier and Will Weber with NKU's President Mearns
Jake Ollier and Will Weber with President Mearns


Jake and Will wanted to learn about economics through “real -life” experiential learning. They also realized that, due to its young history, NKU was lacking the tradition and culture that UK, UC, UofL or Xavier has. The GoldShirt is a student run business with the mission of creating a sense of community. Students manage the design, distribution, marketing and sales of the shirt. The only part of the business that is outsourced, is the actual production and printing of the shirts.

The GoldShirt is a student run business with the mission of creating a sense of community

The profits are either reinvested into the business or distributed in the form community development funds. The shirt is affordably priced because they would rather sell more shirts and have as many NKU students wearing the shirt as possible than have high margins. They realized quickly that they have to sacrifice margins in order to meet their objective. They want the GoldShirt to be a NKU tradition.

Will Weber is now the Student Government Association president at NKU, and Jake Ollier graduated and is a data analyst for the Pacers (NBA).  This year, Matt Frey, a Sophomore Economics student, will be managing The Goldshirt. Shanda Harris will serve as president of the Norse Economics Club. I will be highlighting our students this semester. Each one of them is an important contributor to the success of The Goldshirt and the Norse Economics Club.

Shanda Harris, President of Economics Club
Shanda Harris, President of Economics Club 2016-2017

Last year The GoldShirt managed to make a small profit but the students have decided to reinvest all their profits into ordering new inventory of the Goldshirt. This year’s design is available for sale. If you are interested in a shirt, or want to donate to their cause, please reach out to us. Spending $12 dollars on a shirt will help students learn about business, economics, and also help them reach their goal of creating a community.

Matt Frey. CEO of the GoldShirt 2016-2017
Matt Frey. CEO of the GoldShirt 2016-2017


I am proud of the hard work the students put in. With their hard work, commitment to economics, and their positive attitude, they are creating a tradition.  We are also having fun while at it.


Our Tradition Begins.

Rep the Gold.

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