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W&M receives $1.5M for Integrative Wellness Center

William & Mary will continue to strengthen efforts supporting the health and wellbeing of students across campus with a $1.5 million gift for the new Integrative Wellness Center.

Norfolk, Virginia, residents Bee McLeod ’83, MBA ’91 and Goody Tyler HON ’11 — the benefactors of the gift — have been longtime supporters of the university and believe that efforts underway to improve wellness on campus are essential. The gift will provide funding for the construction and interior space of the center, as well as critical support for new programs. The center is expected to open in fall 2017.

“The health and safety of students are top priorities for the university — and for us — and we hope that our gift can help make the center one of the best wellness facilities in the nation,” said McLeod. “We fully support plans to house all important aspects of health promotion and treatment under one roof and our investments in this area show our commitment to helping make this a reality.”

This gift is part of a robust contribution that McLeod and Tyler made to the university during the leadership phase of the campaign. Their gifts touch all aspects of the student experience and enhance many different areas on campus that can positively impact health outcomes and educational opportunities for the William & Mary community, said Matthew T. Lambert ’99, vice president for university advancement. In fact, their philanthropy is helping to fund the recreation center, Swem Library, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, as well as scholarships and professorships.

“In our eyes, the recreation center is an extension of the wellness center since they are both integral components to improving the health of the campus community. Over 90 percent of students utilize the recreation center and for many it is used to help relieve stress and anxiety, so we are thrilled to contribute to this cause,” said Tyler.

“Bee and Goody’s investment in the health and wellbeing of the campus community is quite wonderful,” said President Taylor Reveley. “Their gift provides very welcome impetus to our ongoing efforts to meet mental health needs on campus.”

The innovative design and progressive functions of the Integrative Wellness Center — which will be built in the heart of the campus — will provide a peaceful place for people to restore, refresh and renew, said Kelly Crace, associate vice president for health and wellness. The goal of the center is to help develop active, mature consumers of health care and to create a strong foundation for students’ lifelong wellbeing. It will include a student health center, counseling center, health promotion activities, recreational and wellness programs and a Center for Mindfulness and Authentic Excellence.

"We are grateful that Bee and Goody are such enthusiastic partners with us in promoting student wellbeing. Their generous gift will bring to life a remarkable place dedicated to helping every student at William & Mary to flourish," said Virginia M. Ambler '88, Ph.D. '06, vice president for student affairs.

The Integrative Wellness Center is the latest in a number of projects that are part of an ongoing commitment by the university to enhance student health and wellness services. For example, the Counseling Center began offering this semester a service that connects students with counselors outside the normal operating hours. The Counseling Center has also begun using Therapist Assist Online, an online learning platform that allows users to learn strategies for dealing with depression and anxiety. The university is also continuing its search for a full-time psychiatrist.

“We are privileged to be in the company of visionary and inspiring leaders who are deeply committed to supporting the priorities of the university,” said Lambert. “Private support can make a powerful difference in the overall wellness of William & Mary students and we cannot thank Bee and Goody enough for their contributions."

McLeod and Tyler both currently serve on the Campaign Steering Committee, and McLeod is a new trustee on the College of William & Mary Foundation. She also previously served as the chair for the Swem Library Board.