Pace University takes on new initiatives to promote wellbeing


Pace University Pleasantville’s Wellbeing Fair, Credit: College of Health Professions, Pace University

Anthony Guerrero

Pace has signed the Okanagan Charter, an international charter of health promoting universities, as a testament to their commitment to the health and wellness of their community. The signing took place at the University-wide Wellbeing Fair on February 8th, where 70+ tables hosted by members of the Pace Community and their neighbors featured wellbeing resources and activities, giveaways, and healthy treats.

“We are so thrilled that Pace will be signing the Okanagan Charter to join a higher education consortium committed to being health-promoting institutions,” said Todd Smith-Bergollo, Senior Associate Dean for Students and Wellbeing Fair co-chair. “This brings together our university’s sustainability, DEI, and wellness goals and allows us to build more momentum toward reaching these goals.”

Pace’s President Krislov attended the Pleasantville event and signed the Okanagan Charter at approximately 12:30 p.m. in the Gottesman Room located in the Kessel Student Center. Simultaneously, the Haub Law School and the NYC campus hosted their Wellbeing Fair.

Pace’s Wellbeing Fair was a celebration of the university’s commitment to promoting the overall health and wellness of their diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. The fair was part of the university’s comprehensive wellness strategic plan that encompasses a physical, mental, and financial approach to well-being.

At the Wellbeing Fair, campus and community partners collaborated to host interactive tables, providing attendees with an array of well-being information and activities. These tables were designed to encompass one or more dimensions of well-being, such as physical fitness, mental health, financial literacy, nutrition, and mindfulness. The interactive component of each table facilitated dialogue, demonstration, or activity, encouraging attendees to engage and learn more about the dimensions of well-being that resonated with them.

In 2015, the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) partnered with educational institutions and health organizations from 45 countries, including the World Health Organization and UNESCO, to co-host the International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. The conference brought together experts in the field to collaborate on the development of a framework that would promote health in universities and colleges around the world.

During the three-day event, participants worked together to create the Okanagan Charter, an international charter that aims to guide and inspire action in the Health Promoting Universities and Colleges movement. The charter reflects the latest concepts, processes, and principles relevant to the movement and builds upon advances made since the 2005 Edmonton Charter.

The Okanagan Charter is designed to generate dialogue and research that expands local, regional, national, and international networks and accelerates action on, off, and between campuses. It seeks to mobilize international, cross-sector action for the integration of health in all policies and practices, thus advancing the continued development of health promoting universities and colleges worldwide.

The Okanagan Charter is a significant milestone in the global effort to promote health and well-being in academic communities. It provides a roadmap for universities and colleges to prioritize the health and well-being of their students, staff, and faculty, and to create environments that support and promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.