In October 2011 the President’s Council presented a proposal to the Andrews University Board of Trustees that a new health and wellness center be viewed as an opportunity. A vote was taken for Andrews to proceed to build a case for the project.
Almost two years later, in June 2013, updates were presented to the board, including feedback and recommendations resulting from donor visits, a report on the work and scope of the project committee, and preliminary architectural drawings. The board voted to accept the recommendation from the President’s Council for a facility with a total cost of approximately $17–$18 million, located west of the Howard Performing Arts Center.
At the October 2013 board meeting, President Andreasen presented a statement about Andrews University’s wellness vision, mission and goals. The purpose of wellness is to connect people to their Creator. There are four parts: (1) intentionality, including hiring a wellness director and constructing a building that reflects intentional activity, (2) accessibility, all should have an opportunity to be well, maximize the number of people who participate in the culture of wellness, (3) integration, wholeness and wellness as a part of life, includes the idea of a dining services focused on health, not money (4) motivation, we want to measure how many parts of campus are engaging in the culture of wellness. The goal is to make Andrews University a transformative place where health and wellness is a part of the culture and a part of the campus’s life.
In July 2015, Dominique Gummelt was hired as the director of University Health & Wellness, reporting directly to the president. Fundraising efforts continued and plans were set into motion for the public phase of the campaign.
Over the past five years, various options have been presented for occupancy and facilities. The center will offer a myriad of fitness activities, including aquatics, recreation and classes. Members will benefit from assessment, training, treatment and education. Fitness & Exercise Studies faculty and the director of University Health & Wellness will also be located in the new center.