Denison University announces groundbreaking for the new Ann and Thomas Hoaglin Wellness Center, named in honor of the Hoaglin’s philanthropic leadership to the project. The Hoaglin Wellness Center will bring to fruition Denison’s holistic and integrated approach to community health and well-being. The Hoaglins are both members of the Denison Class of 1971 and long-time advocates of the university and its mission. The Hoaglin Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.
“The pace of modern life continues to speed up. Today, young people face a variety of challenges,” says Tom Hoaglin, Denison Life Trustee and Chair of the Board from 2009-2014. “A liberal arts college should develop the whole person, helping students develop the tools of wellness needed to thrive in every aspect of their lives.”
The Hoaglin Wellness Center will serve as the hub for students to proactively engage with the resources they need to meet their individual and collective wellness goals. Centrally located at the eastern end of Swasey Chapel walk, the beautiful hilltop setting provides natural opportunities for making use of scenic outdoor spaces for mindfulness and meditation, and movement practices such as yoga.
“At its core, the goal of the liberal arts is to develop ‘whole people’ who are prepared to thrive in their personal, professional, and civic lives.” says Denison University President Adam Weinberg, “The Hoaglin Wellness Center is a thoughtful, well-planned, and beautiful space to enact our holistic and powerful approach to wellness. Ann and Tom have long been leaders in the Denison community. I am grateful once again for their generosity and vision.”
The Hoaglin Wellness Center will offer light-filled spaces to engage students’ mental and physical health goals, and spacious community rooms to gather. Fittingly for a place designed especially for students, a select group of students became design consultants to the architects and health professionals that planned the space. The student consultants are members of the Research, Engagement, and Design (RED) Corps at Denison, who are equipped with special training and design-thinking skills. They were tasked with determining what students would want to find, both aesthetically and functionally, in the new wellness center.
Perhaps not surprising, students placed a special emphasis on mental health. Ann Hoaglin, a long-time civic contributor, recognizes the imperative of this topic. “Mental health can be easily hidden, yet it affects all of us,” she says. “People find different ways to cope with stress — and those methods can be worn out over time. It’s important for people to have an opportunity to reflect on their activities and find new avenues to lead a balanced life.” Denison has a strong record as an innovator in student health. The university was recently announced as a winner of the 2020 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award, recognition for its innovative efforts to improve student wellness. The prestigious award celebrates U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate excellence in prioritizing and promoting the health and well-being of their students.