Spelman's Wellness Revolution

Your Take: Health literacy for all trumps an athletics program for a few, the school's president says.

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One barrier to progress on our campus is our facilities. Our physical education building, Read Hall, built in 1950 when our student population was just 500 students, no longer meets the needs of a campus of 2,100 students. We are raising funds to renovate and expand Read Hall, a $13 million project, to house a state-of-the-art fitness-education program that will benefit all of our students, not only improving their health outcomes but also preparing them to be wellness champions in communities beyond our gates.

Fortunately, our students don't have to wait for that Read Hall expansion to start improving their health. New wellness activities are already under way and will be sustained while the building is under construction.

This new direction at Spelman offers an effective and affordable model of health-and-wellness education that can be a model for all of our colleges and universities. Just as our founders forged a new educational path for black women, today we are forging a new wellness path, one that will lead the way to better health for this generation of students and for those whose lives they will touch. The wellness revolution is one that we can all participate in, and one that we desperately need.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., is president of Spelman College in Atlanta.

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