Holy Cross Celebrates the Opening of the Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center

The Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center. Photo by Avanell Chang

State-of-the-art facility to serve as new center for recreation, club and intramural sports, fostering a new era of holistic wellness on The Hill

The College of the Holy Cross on Monday opened its new state-of-the-art recreation and wellness center, the Joanne Chouinard-Luth Recreation and Wellness Center ("The Jo"). The Jo will be home to all club and intramural sports, as well as recreation, fitness and wellness programming for students, faculty and staff.

Located at the upper campus entrance on College Street and replacing the 72-year-old Field House, the new 52,000 square foot facility will offer a new home to campus recreation, through a wide range of fitness and wellness spaces, including sports courts, weight rooms, a golf simulator, three rooms for yoga, cycling and fitness and a one-tenth-mile suspended jogging track overlooking Worcester. The three-story facility will also be home to the College's Office of Student Wellness Education, the Worksite Wellness Office and the Office of Public Safety.

During the 2021 spring semester, the Jo's gymnasium is also being used as the College's COVID-19 testing facility.

Construction of the $32.5 million building was made possible by a $40 million gift — the largest in College history — from John Luth '74 and his wife, Joanne Chouinard-Luth, D.M.D., as part of the College's Become More campaign. A significant part of the donation, $25 million, was allocated toward the renovation and expansion of the Hart Center, now the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex, which was dedicated in 2018. The balance of the gift was used to fund The Jo.

"I am grateful for the Luths' generosity and their commitment to enhancing the profile of well-being on campus, an important element of the Jesuit educational mission to educate the whole person," said Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College. "The Jo will be an essential component to the health and wellness of the minds, bodies and spirits of not only students, but the entire Holy Cross community."

The Jo is one of four large capital projects funded by the College's largest-ever fundraising campaign, the recently completed $420 million Become More campaign.  The campaign also funded construction of the expansion to the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex, the Thomas P. Joyce '59 Contemplative Center, and the under-construction Prior Performing Arts Center, scheduled to open in 2022.

Dr. Chouinard-Luth has a long and deep commitment to health and wellness. An alumna of Newton College of the Sacred Heart and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Chouinard-Luth had a 30-year career in dentistry and public health. She also holds an M.S. degree in nutrition from Columbia University's Institute of Human Nutrition in New York.

Along with her husband, John, she established a charitable foundation to promote global awareness of nutrition's fundamental importance to every individual's quality of life and athletic performance potential.

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