Chancellor to officially open Center for Student Wellbeing Aug. 31 at Vanderbilt University

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (Vanderbilt University)

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos will officially open Vanderbilt University’s new Center for Student Wellbeing Wednesday, Aug. 31. The grand opening follows his announcement last fall that the university would invest further in student wellness resources—including those that address the needs of students of varying backgrounds.

“This new center is the culmination of candid conversations that I, and others, have had with students, faculty and staff across our campus about how we can best lend support to our students who may, at some point during their time at Vanderbilt, experience distress that could affect their academic or personal success,” Zeppos said.

The Vanderbilt community is invited to the 2 p.m. grand opening ceremony at the center, which is located across from the Zerfoss Student Health Center on campus. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente will join the chancellor for a program of remarks followed by tours of the center and light refreshments.

Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)
Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)

“Our students’ ability to care for themselves and care for each other will help them tremendously in their lives here on campus and in their lives after Vanderbilt,” Wente said. “We hope students recognize that taking full advantage of the center’s support services will enhance their ability to succeed.”

The Center for Student Wellbeing is designed to be a hub for wellness and prevention resources to help undergraduate, graduate and professional students develop and maintain positive mental and physical health practices that can help them thrive within the Vanderbilt community and beyond.

The center’s staff, led by center director Rachel Eskridge, will focus on a number of key areas, including promoting self-care and personal growth, cultivating mindfulness and reflection, strengthening physical and emotional health, and providing alcohol and other drug education and recovery support, as well as supporting students in distress and fostering community through meaningful connections.

Services offered at the center will include:

  • Wellbeing, academic and peer coaching
  • Dissertation support group
  • Recovery support services
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Student-led initiatives
  • Skill-building workshops
  • Trainings to identify and respond to student needs
  • Substance use screenings
  • Awareness and prevention programming, and
  • Referrals

Center for Student Wellbeing staff also will work closely with other departments in the Office of the Dean of Students, including Residential Education and the Office of Social Justice and Identity, in the design and provision of on- and off-site culturally sensitive preventive and educational programs.

In addition, Vanderbilt Recovery Support will use the space for recovery meetings and to house the Vanderbilt Recovery Lounge space for students to use for studying and community building.