Media Advisory: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina partners with Wake Forest University to promote health and wellbeing

With support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), Wake Forest University aims to transform the way college campuses approach wellbeing and become a model for others in higher education.

A $3 million gift from BCBSNC will help Wake Forest create a campus community dedicated to wellbeing and support initiatives across eight dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, financial, occupational, and environmental.

Wake Forest faculty, already engaged in groundbreaking research related to health and wellbeing, will develop new projects with seed funding through the BCBSNC contribution.

“Our approach to wellbeing is intentional and a natural extension of our mission to educate the whole person,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch. “Wellbeing is not the absence of illness and stress, but the presence of healthy habits, purpose and joyful relationships. We are grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for its transformative gift to enhance wellbeing on our campus and across the state.”  

The grant will support the transformation of Reynolds Gym into a comprehensive center for wellbeing, fund a new director of wellbeing position, provide seed grants for faculty research on health and wellbeing, and support new wellbeing programs on campus.

“Blue Cross has hundreds of employees who live and work in Winston-Salem and we are proud to invest in the community. The work that Wake Forest will do to make holistic wellbeing a way of life for students and faculty may bear fruit in helping prevent illness or decrease its severity. It’s an exciting case study, and one whose progress we will watch with great interest,” said Brad Wilson, president and CEO of BCBSNC.

“Today’s students will graduate into a world of global complexity with few guarantees,” said Penny Rue, vice president for campus life. “They now struggle with stress levels previously unseen and perfectionistic standards intolerant of mistakes. Wake Forest has been creating innovative approaches to allow students to unplug, engage, and connect to a deeper meaning and purpose. With this gift, we intend to build on our holistic approach to wellbeing, create new synergies and help students develop healthy habits and build a sense of resilience that will carry them forward through the ever-unfolding challenges of a rapidly changing world.”

We are poised not only to greatly enhance wellbeing here at Wake Forest, but to make a contribution to all of higher education, Rue said.

“Our approach to wellbeing is equal parts education, inspiration and measurement.  The generous gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will help us develop and grow a campus community culture that reflects our extraordinary commitment to the overall wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and the community,” said Wake Forest Provost Rogan Kersh.


 About Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.84 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

Categories: Media Advisory, Thrive / Wellbeing