Gym celebrates sixth year

Students, administrators and gym-goers showed up at the George E. Smathers Wellness Center on Wednesday to “Catch the Wellness Wave,” the center’s sixth anniversary celebration.

Wellness Center director Norm Parsons kicked off the event.

“This is our sixth anniversary, however, it is also one of our open houses for the month,” Patty Swift, assistant director of Business and Marketing said.

The festivities included two-hour demonstrations on salsa dancing, belly dancing and hip-hop, some of the classes taught at the center. Members of Hui Aloha, the UM Hawaiian club, performed several hula dances.

It was like a luau with leis being provided to those who attended.

Food was also served, from low calorie fruit kabobs consisting of cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries and grapes, to bruschetta and chicken tenders.

Mocktails were also provided, courtesy of BACCHUS.

The event also proved to be fun and worthwhile with a hula-hoop and limbo contest.

The hula-hoop contest seemed to go on forever with the last three contestants battling it out for the victory.

The gym’s oldest member, Richard Abarham, was also present to catch the last half of the celebration. He missed the first half because he was too busy doing his usual exercise regimen.

“I’m 91 years old, I’ve been here since the day it opened. I come here to swim every other day,” said Abraham, who is a UM professor emeritus.

“People here are so wonderful and the students are so polite, that’s why I love to come here,” he said. “Perhaps when I turn 95 they’ll give me a free membership.”

“I think the Wellness Center makes such a difference in the students lives,” said Patricia Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs. “It makes them aware about how to live healthier lifestyles.”

“It also a way to bring the community together through educating them about nutrition and physical activity,” she added.

“This whole event was really a team effort,” she added. Whitely cutting and handing out the anniversary cake.

“It takes a lot of time, money, and student support to keep the Wellness Center looking in great condition. Thomas Reyes from UNICCO and his crew of six men clean the center from 10:30 at night until the next morning!” said Alan Rose, Assistant Director of Facilities.

“You don’t know they’re there, until they don’t do their job. They’re like the unsung heroes of the Center,” he added. The Wellness Center provides many opportunities for students and members of the community to stay healthy.

There are many programs and classes ranging from tai-chi, cooking, to aerobics.

For a small fee, students can even get a personal workout program by going through an assessment conducted by the Assistant Director of Fitness, Tony Musto.

“It’s impressive that a smaller school like UM could provide assessments like the one the Center provides,” Musto said.

Parsons reminisced about the time before the Wellness Center was built.

“In 1972 we raised $1.3 million to have the Lane Center Built here. In 1992 the students voted to allow the center fee to be included in their schedule of fees.”

In 1994, Parsons said, the Lane Center was torn down to build the Wellness Center.

“I’m just really happy that people are coming here to better themselves. From the day we opened, more than 2.5 million people have come through the Wellness Center doors.”

“I just want to emphasize how important it is to exercise and to establish good lifetime habits that directly affect our health,” he added.

January 18, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of UM notes on a Friday: ▪ Four-star Oregon-based quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. told Ri ...

On the eve of her team’s NCAA Tournament opener, University of Miami coach Katie Meier took the oppo ...

The defeated and deflated Miami Hurricanes quietly packed up their bags and trudged out of their Ame ...

Even before Donte Ingram broke Miami’s heart and sent the Hurricanes home from the NCAA Tournament w ...

And so ends Miami's season. No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago's Donte Ingram hit a buzzer-beating ...

From bringing communities together to understanding the impacts of urbanization on the groundwater s ...

Novelist Jennine Capó Crucet’s book talk on March 20 explores belonging, identity, and what it means ...

Musical theatre students spent quality time learning (and laughing) with Avenue Q co-creator Jeff Ma ...

The University of Miami takes concrete steps to become the hemispheric university as it builds a rel ...

A UM physicist comments on the passing of British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. ...

The Canes closed out the Hurricane Invitational with a strong showing on the track and in the field ...

The University of Miami rowing team kicked off its spring season at the 2018 Oak Ridge Cardinal Invi ...

The Hurricanes fell behind early and could not recover Saturday afternoon, falling to No. 23 Duke, 4 ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team had its superb 2017-18 season come to an end Sa ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will go into a match ranked for the first time this s ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.