Perspectives on The New Center
Gina Caldwell Associate Editor
Class of 2008
I had the opportunity to work in the Health and Fitness Center for a few weeks last summer to prepare for the grand opening in August.
It was a great experience getting to know the new staff members on both a professional and personal level. Organizing weight sets and piecing together equipment gave me a first hand look at all of the planning and effort that went into finishing the new facility. Every day, I saw how many different people played a role in the completion of a building that Longwood deserves to show off.
As a member of Longwood’s women’s soccer team, I can appreciate a good workout and the positive results it brings. One thing that can make a workout even more productive is seeing a gym full of other students and faculty members who are also working to meet their personal fitness goals. This extraordinary facility brings more people to the weight room and increases both self-induced and head-to-head competition through the use of a wide variety of cardiovascular and weight equipment.
Having grown up in Farmville, I have seen Longwood go through a great number of changes. I can honestly say that the opening of the Health and Fitness Center is one of the transformations that I am most proud of. Not only does this building offer students a place where they can excel outside of the classroom, it also demonstrates how much the administration cares about the physical and mental well-being of the Longwood community.
, Director, Student Health and Wellness Center
Build it and they will come ...” A very long time ago, a nursing professor applied this saying to the nature of community health services.
Dr. Jean Goeppinger said that no matter how many clinicians or new facilities were added in a community health setting there would be continued requests for more. She taught “Until we develop partnerships to promote self-care, wellness, and community health, we will continue to expand and need more health services.”
When I was given the honor of leading Longwood’s Student Health and Wellness Center, we were in the process of phasing out the “infirmary” concept of health service. Instead, we decided to adopt a philosophy of health partnership, self-care promotion, and community health and wellness. We believed that the more we could teach students self-care, the more we would be able to reduce the expectation that health is achieved through health care providers and services. Personal responsibility for well-being and healthy choices would be a developmental goal to be achieved.
Since its inception, the Health and Fitness Center has been designed to be an inclusive center with complementary services focusing on physical and mental health and wellness. We have also seen increased opportunities for effective communication and wellness education. Our challenge has been to come together as three separate units (previously housed in separate locations) and become one “Wellness Unit.” We believe that the “mind, body, and spirit” of individuals is worthy of addressing in all of our efforts to create a culture of wellness in the community.
In my discussions with students, I remind them that the Health and Fitness Center is an invaluable resource where they can learn to be healthy, happy, and fit and achieve their personal and academic goals. With the new Health and Fitness Center as a backdrop, the setting for our work is inspiring and instrumental as we strive to be a model for wellness throughout the community. The doors are open. I cannot wait to see what healthy partnerships will happen next.
Matt McGregor, Director of Campus Recreation
"Students, faculty and staff are using the Health and Fitness Center at a higher level than anticipated and prospective students and their parents are raving about the facility during their tours of campus. We are excited that the center is creating a climate of health and wellness on campus while serving as a major attraction for the recruitment and retention of Longwood students.”
Dr. Wayne O'Brien, Director, Counseling Center
As we prepared to open the new center, I was concerned that students might be reluctant to visit us in our new location. After all, we are inconspicuously located in the southwest corner of the third floor and overshadowed by the wonderful fitness facilities on the floors below. But I was wrong – students like the privacy our center offers. We know this because students are coming in numbers that fill our counseling schedules at least a week in advance.”
Let's Get Physical
On September 14, more than 140 of Longwood’s most generous donors and leadership volunteers gathered for the 2007 Leadership Donor Reception at the newly-dedicated Health and Fitness Center. This was Longwood’s opportunity to say thank you and our guests’ chance to be among the first visitors to our newest building. As they danced the night away to the KOS Band on the basketball court, our visitors marveled at the facility and what it will offer to Longwood students, faculty and staff.