A $1 million gift from Ann Lowery, ’74, will name the fitness center in the Weatherspoon Physical Education building for her parents, Herman and Ruth Lowery.
The gift will help fund renovations of Weatherspoon. The expansion will increase the size of the fitness center by 5,400 square feet and allow for more group fitness opportunities, personalized training, new equipment, more dedicated staff, and longer operating hours. The pool will be removed to expand the fitness center.
Meredith College athletic teams will also benefit from new areas for team training and sports conditioning. These enhancements will allow Meredith athletes to remain competitive and will help in recruitment of the top-ranked athletes.
“I wanted to give this gift because statistics show students who work out at least once per week are more likely to earn a higher grade point average than students who worked out less or not at all,” says Lowery. “Also, students who are motivated by fitness and wellness tend to have better time management skills. Physical activity has proven to alleviate the stressors of college life. Essentially, being fit is good for the mind.”
An improved fitness center will also have the potential to help grow enrollment, increase retention, and give wellness opportunities not offered before to current and future students.
“Our brand, Going Strong, reminds us of the importance of being strong as individuals and as a College. A key factor in individual strength, of course, is physical fitness,” says President Jo Allen. “For our students, faculty, and staff, the fitness center provides the equipment, space, and support to enhance our physical strength. Just as important, it will also attract greater enrollment, ensuring our College’s strength is enhanced. We are tremendously grateful to Ann Lowery for this wonderful gift in honor of her parents, Herman and Ruth Lowery.”
Quality of life is also one of the six pillars in the College’s strategic plan, so this gift aligns with Meredith’s commitment to health and well-being. The expansion will provide students with a more well-rounded college experience and will make Meredith more appealing to prospective students.
“Current Meredith students have grown up during the fitness and wellness boom. Many arrive on campus with workout habits,” says Lowery. “With a new fitness center, Meredith students, faculty, and staff will have a facility to pursue their wellness objectives on campus at Weatherspoon and athletic teams will have a much-needed facility to train for their sports.”
Renovations are expected to be complete in Fall 2017.
Lowery is serving her second term on the Board of Trustees and is co-chair of Beyond Strong | The Campaign for Meredith. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Meredith Reunion Philanthropy Award.
Lowery says, “It is an honor for me to name this facility in memory of my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman T. Lowery of Winston-Salem. Forty-five years ago, they had the foresight to know that Meredith was exactly what I needed.”