Texas Wesleyan is the first Blue Zones-approved university in Texas.
At Tuesday’s 2020 Town Hall meeting at the Baker Building, Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach thanked the university’s Blue Zones ambassador members that worked to make this happen.
Based on the New York Times bestseller The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner, the Blue Zones Projects were created to inspire people globally to live vibrant and active lives, according to bluezonesproject.com.
“The Blue Zones Project focuses on empowering employees and students to be happier, healthier, and more productive by creating healthier work environments,” said Christi Tallent, human resources administrator.
With the help of fitness opportunities for employees in the gym, a tobacco-free campus, creating multiple walking routes on campus and the library, and creating purpose workshops, faculty and staff ambassadors were able to put the initiative into place, Tallent said.
Fort Worth District 8 council member Kelley Allen Grey said she was excited about what is happening at Wesleyan.
“I’m very excited for all the great things happening here[at Texas Wesleyan],” said Grey, who is also on Wesleyan’s board of trustees, “and the steps we are taking to make this a more cohesive environment and organization not only for faculty and staff but for students, as well.”
Members contributing to the community-wide well-being initiative are hoping more students will take part in having healthier lifestyles, Tallent said.
Angela Dampeer, associate vice president of human resources, said Wesleyan faculty and staff members have stepped up in contributing to the project.
“Now it’s time for the students to step up, and our alumni,” Dampeer said.
Later this spring, the ambassadors will create student engagements including: cooking demonstrations, walking moai celebrations, fitness popups and purpose workshops, Tallent said.
Slabach said that he made the commitment to make Wesleyan a Blue Zones campus in May of 2016. Tallent said that since then, 32 percent of the staff and faculty have taken the pledge to become healthier, which exceeds the 25 percent goal to become certified.
“It’s not a commitment to the city, to the Blue Zones, or to Texas Wesleyan, it’s a commitment to yourself,” Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project Fort Worth. “It’s about making permanent changes long term in the places we work, play or at home.”
Based on her ability to go above and beyond on campus and her contribution to the Blue Zones Project, Tallent was awarded one of the three staff hero awards, Slabach said.
The next 2020 Town Hall Meeting is during free period in the Baker Building on April 18 and will focus on the university’s advancement. For more information, go to txwes.edu.