In recent years, Denison has expanded his definition of wellness, going beyond physical and mental health to include wellness education to create lifelong wellness habits.
The university’s new Ann and Thomas Hoaglin Wellness Center, which opened in late August 2022, advances these efforts and establishes a hub for medical, counseling and wellness activities for the entire community of campus. The nearly 16,000 square foot center, which replaces the health center formerly housed at Whisler Hall, is the culmination of years of collaborative planning and student-centered research.
“A liberal arts education should help students develop the skills and habits they will need to thrive personally and professionally throughout their lives,” says Denison University President Adam Weinberg. “The Hoaglin Wellness Center will allow us to greatly expand the health services we provide to our community to help them lead better, healthier lives.”
At the Hoaglin Center, students will be able to consult with primary care providers, mental health clinicians, psychiatrists and dietitians, an expansion of care made possible by Denison’s new partnership with Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, one of the most respected and respected medical centers in the region. established university health centres. This partnership helps the college recruit additional healthcare professionals to expand support to the entire campus community – students, faculty and staff – and add healthcare services, including musculoskeletal and physical therapy , as well as increased access to mental health and sports on campus. medicine department.
A Gift and a Vision for Denison’s Commitment to Wellness
The Hoaglin Wellness Center is named after Ann and Tom Hoaglin, to honor their philanthropic leadership of the project. The Hoaglins, both members of the Denison Class of 1971, are longtime civic champions and passionate advocates for their alma mater, and their vision for the Hoaglin Center has inspired several Denison alumni and parents of Denison students to financially support the project.
“Ann and Tom have long been leaders in the Denison community, and I am grateful for their generosity and for the gracious support of our alumni and parents who helped fund this project,” Weinberg said. “Interest in this project reflects the global understanding of the importance of good health and well-being.”
Building design that reflects thought leadership in wellness
The architectural design of the Hoaglin Wellness Center reflects Denison’s holistic wellness philosophy – the idea that all aspects of wellness are connected. The building creates private spaces for consultations and clinical work and open, free-flowing spaces that promote both learning and more relaxed student interactions, which also extends to the exterior landscaping.
The one-story limestone structure sits along Denison’s Chapel Walk and benefits from abundant natural light and views. Over 2,600 square feet of windows frame mature trees, an outdoor meditation garden, and multiple gathering spaces.
Incorporate student experience into design and programming
Student input has been essential to the development of the Hoaglin Center. To prepare for the building’s opening and new spaces, a group of faculty, staff, and students spent a year developing a vision and action plan to advance a culture of wellness. across the campus. Julie Tucker, associate vice president of student life, also engaged teams of student consultants from Denison’s Red Corps Scholars program to incorporate their voices into its planning and design.
Tucker, who has been involved with Denison’s wellness initiatives for more than a decade, says the center’s goal is to provide the resources students need to thrive on campus and beyond.
“Our goal is to challenge students to develop the skills and habits that lead to the kind of emotional agility and resilience that will allow them to thrive in their studies, activities, and relationships on campus,” says -she. “These will also apply to their time after graduation, empowering them to thrive in their careers and personal relationships throughout life.”
The Hoaglin Wellness Center further reinforces Denison’s commitment to student wellness within a liberal arts education. Over the past few years, the college wellness team has added staff resources to meet changing health needs, partnered with the JED Foundation to develop a mental health support plan for students, established a financial wellness program to support student financial wellness and created partnerships. across campus that address social and spiritual health as well as academic success. In 2020, Denison was recognized as the winner of the Active Minds Healthy Campus Award.
“We need a new conversation on college campuses about health,” Weinberg says. “We need to help students develop the skills and habits needed to shape their own health. This means talking about how lifestyle habits such as sleep, nutrition, and exercise impact physical and mental health. It also means helping students develop the mindfulness tools and emotional agility needed to manage the stresses and challenges we encounter throughout our lives. I want our students to have the resilience and adaptability to be the architects of their own lives.