Wellness and Andrews University do not have any degree of separation. At the heart of its mission, Andrews University is committed to encouraging a lifestyle that says to students and employees, “your health, your wellness, is important to us.” That health embraces the emotional, the physical and the spiritual. It is important because wellness adds to the quality of life, and that in itself is vital. Wellness also impacts success in every other area: academic and professional. This integral connection is part of what makes Adventist education unique, and it is part of the fabric of this University.
Now we are wanting to take this commitment to a new level. By our recent hire of a director of University Health & Wellness who is focusing on the whole campus wellness environment, and by making our next capital project a new Health & Wellness Center, we are showing how important wellness is to our future University thinking. What does this change mean? We will continue to serve outstanding vegetarian cuisine in our cafeteria. We will continue our thought-provoking and inspiring spiritual programming. Our Counselling & Testing Center will remain committed to supporting the emotional health of all our students. Our curriculum and co-curricular programs will expect student engagement in wellness—both through education and physical activity. Now however, we will do even more, by intentionally identifying new ways all individuals can engage in making increasingly healthy decisions. In fact, as a result of the University Health and Wellness initiative, the University has been identified as a Gold Level Campus by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC) Advisory Group. By giving this rare award the organization recognizes the intentional focus of the campus on wellness, and in this case, exercise as prevention, in particular.
We have gone this far. Now we want to go one step further with the building of our new Health & Wellness Center. Once built this will be the go-to place for students working on individual fitness plans, engaging in sports activities, or wanting to relax in a peaceful space. Friends will come together: one may get a massage; another join in a team game, a third take an extra-curricular exercise class and a fourth swim laps in the pool. Afterwards they will meet again, relax and share a smoothie while they talk and laugh together. The Wellness Center will be the place that exemplifies our commitment to holistic living and education on this campus.
To complete this exciting project we will need the help of individuals who want to join us in celebrating healthy living and the University commitment to making this place a center of excellence for student and employee wellness. Please do consider being part of this opportunity.