Today I am announcing my training for the October 7 Chicago Marathon. I do this not only to emphasize my commitment to wellness, but also to launch a University‑wide emphasis on wellness.
Why should this be important to me, and more importantly, to Methodist University? At my inauguration this spring, I announced the creation of the School of Health Sciences. This School suggests that health sciences are of interest to prospective students and prospective employers. This means that if we are to increase our footprint in the health sciences, we should equally improve our emphasis and imprint on total wellness. Indeed, if a university promotes a culture of excellence and notes the importance of signature people, shouldn’t it focus on their well being? We should also be looking at lifetime health skills for our graduates, not just lifetime skills to aid in employment, critical thinking, and citizenship.
So what does an emphasis on wellness mean? Over the next 11 weeks, as I train for the marathon and focus on my own wellness, I will share thoughts about wellness in my weekly blog entry. I will share what I consider to be the key elements of a campus‑wide wellness program. The University will also be utilizing other communications channels to unveil wellness programs, encourage the use of our wellness facilities, and to provide further education.
An emphasis on nutrition is one element of a comprehensive wellness program. Again, at my inauguration, I announced programs on the horizon that would be included in the new School of Health Sciences. One of these is nutrition, so what better way to enhance our wellness program than in tandem with the development of this emerging academic program.
I look forward to sharing further thoughts in the coming weeks, as well as my progress in training for the marathon. I invite you to join me in this commitment, including the development of your own personal wellness plan to coincide with our University program.