Major donation supports student health and wellness

Major donation supports student health and wellness

The Côté Sharp Family Foundation is donating $5 million to help create a new centralized wellness centre.

By Anne Craig

April 5, 2018


Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, today announced a $5-million gift from Dennis Sharp (Sc’60) and Hélène Côté Sharp to support Queen’s University’s commitment to promoting student health and wellness.

In recognition of this gift, the Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre will be an integral part of the new Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC), located in the heart of the Queen’s campus.

“The creation of the Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre is allowing Queen’s to locate health and wellness services in a modern, centralized space on campus, fulfilling a key recommendation of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health Report from 2012,” says Principal Woolf. “The location of the centre on the main floor of the IWC will help increase awareness of our student wellness-related services, and how they are evolving to meet the needs of Queen’s student population.”

In the Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre, students will learn about health and well-being, build skills, receive excellent medical and counselling services, and access academic accommodations for wellness-related needs, including medical, mental health, and disability. A diverse and specialized team of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, personal counsellors, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, accessibility advisors, and support staff will offer comprehensive services in the new space.

“The student wellness centre will be a tremendous addition to the campus as it is in a central and easily accessible location as well as being an integral part of a broader and exciting innovation complex,” says Mr. Sharp. “What we hope to accomplish through the Wellness Centre, whether we are addressing mental health or whether we are talking about less complex issues, is the creation of an innovative, welcoming, and supportive environment where students can readily access assistance and interact with other students and caregivers through a positive and enriching exchange.”

The Innovation and Wellness Centre is built upon the former physical footprint of the Physical Education Centre (PEC). The PEC was always a place where students, staff, and faculty came together to pursue their extracurricular interests and their health and fitness; the IWC continues this tradition.

“The move to the new Innovation and Wellness Centre provides Student Wellness Services with the opportunity to plan and implement new technologies, and enhance processes to benefit students,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “As well, the Côté Sharp Centre’s co-location with other student services and academic spaces reflects the connection we make between wellness, the student experience, and student success. We are all very excited for the opening this fall.”

 Along with the Côté Sharp donation, significant contributions from fellow alumni, the federal and provincial governments, and other friends of Queen’s will enable the Innovation and Wellness Centre to be the hub for innovation at Queen’s, with state of the art engineering facilities and increased innovation facilities for both students and researchers.

The Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre joins the Beaty Water Research Centre as two of the first named facilities within the IWC. In February 2017, water research got a new home thanks to a $5 million gift from Ross J. Beaty. The Beaty Water Research Centre will include 8,000 square feet of new lab space, and join other experiential learning and research spaces in the IWC. The centre is set to open in fall 2018.