Thrive: An integrated wellness hub

As part of the Boldly Elon strategic plan, Koury Center will become an integrated wellness center in the heart of campus.

Over the past five years, there have been multiple new collaborative initiatives at Elon to enhance student wellness and well-being, including the university’s partnership with the Jed Foundation, one of the nation’s leading organizations to address mental health of young people, and the establishment of a new university Council on Wellness and Well-Being. In addition to programs and courses that enable students to thrive in all aspects of their lives, creating a wellness-focused center in the heart of campus is part of making this multifaceted goal a success.

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When Schar Center opened in 2018, the intercollegiate basketball and volleyball programs moved from Koury Center to the new arena, leaving space to create an integrated, wellness-focused center that brings campus recreation, health promotion, student health services, counseling services, faculty/staff wellness, education and wellness, exercise science and potentially other wellness providers all under one roof.

“As the university continues to gradually grow in size, and wellness and well-being have become more important, an integrated center in the heart of campus, right alongside Moseley Center and across from Belk Library, sends an important signal about the centrality of wellness to academic and personal success,” says Vice President of Student Life Jon Dooley.

“The challenges of the past 18 months have sharpened our focus on the importance that well-being plays in academic and personal success.”
—Vice President of Student Life Jon Dooley

Innovative and collaborative programs to address wellness and well-being on campus are already underway, but plans to address Koury  Center are still in the beginning stages. The Integrated Wellness Center Vision Task Force — a team of 15 faculty and staff leaders — will spend the 2021–22 academic year establishing a vision and creating plans for the center.

When Koury Center was dedicated in 1994, Elon’s enrollment was less than 3,500 and expectations for campus recreation facilities were more modest. The reimagined center will provide a place for Elon’s growing student body to receive comprehensive care when needed, making it possible to proactively focus on the whole student. “Integrating multiple resources and supports for holistic wellness will not only strengthen the success of our students but it will also serve as a national model for programs, research and dialogue that promotes resilience, belonging and well-being,” Dooley says.

The Boldly Elon goal to provide greater wellness resources and support comes at a critical time, especially after dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. “The concerns about mental health among college students were already well documented prior to the pandemic,” Dooley says. “The challenges of the past 18 months have sharpened our focus on the importance that well-being plays in academic and personal success.”

The many lessons learned during the pandemic have helped the university better identify the mental, emotional and physical needs of students. “A university community like Elon, with a history of resilience and tenacity in the face of adversity, is well positioned to help students develop skills and strategies to maintain their wellness while achieving their goals during college and beyond,” Dooley says.

Learn more about “Theme 2: Thrive” of the Boldly Elon strategic plan.