Nearly every weekday, John Smeaton heads over to Taylor Gym, where he has a standing date with an elliptical running machine in the Welch Fitness Center.
A fitness center regular like many staff and faculty members, Smeaton is impressed by the makeover that the facility’s first floor recently underwent.
“I think the recent equipment upgrades are great,” says Smeaton, the vice provost for student affairs. “Maintaining the quality of that facility is crucial to our overall health and wellness as a community. As a regular ‘noon timer,’ I enjoy the mix of students, faculty and staff colleagues who descend on Taylor Gym for a quick workout.”
Drew Adamson ’12 agrees.
“I use the facility five days per week and it’s 20 times better than it was before,” says Adamson, a bioengineering major. “I absolutely love what they’ve done.”
Smeaton and Adamson are two of the 350-400 daily users of the Welch Fitness Center.
“Undergraduates, grad students, faculty and staff members come up to me every day to say thanks,” says Doug Strange, Lehigh’s director of fitness. “But they really should be thanking our generous donors. These improvements wouldn’t be possible without their active support.”
The importance of lifelong fitness
Strange appreciates the generosity of the leadership donors on this project: Morgan Miller ’48, Herbert Siegel ’50, and Gym Source. In particular, Strange believes that the Lehigh community owes a special thanks to Richard Miller ’14P, the owner/CEO of Gym Source.
“Gym Source installs gyms all over New York City, so they are experts in these types of projects,” said Strange. “Richard and his colleagues met with me a half-dozen times to go over the plans and to offer their expertise so that we’d reach our goal of creating a terrific first-floor weight training area.”
The renovations included an expansion of the dumbbell and functional power training areas, the conversion of the entire circuit line to the new Cybex VR3 training circuit, and the addition of new high-end specialty pieces. Also, the Olympic flat, incline and decline benches were upgraded with new heavy duty tubular steel, and the Olympic squat racks were replaced with Cybex training systems.
“We deeply appreciate the conviction by Morgan, Herb, and Richard and Amy Miller regarding the importance of fitness as a lifelong habit,” said Joe Sterrett, the Murray H. Goodman ’48 Dean of Athletics. “Their support enables us to attempt to keep somewhat fresh an incredibly active fitness center that serves the university community without charging a separate fee. We’re also grateful to the other alumni and friends who have supported the Welch Fitness Center.”
Those donors include Christopher Bailey ’77 ’12P; Stephen Banco ’88; Jim Boylan ’89; Scott Carpenter ’86; Kevin Clayton ’84 ‘13P; Peter De Maria ’84; Jim Duane ’72 ’04P ’06P; Jeff Enslin ’88; Brian Flynn ’84; Ken Fuirst ’86; Donald Gruhn ’49; Thomas’75 and Valerie ’83 Hirsch ’10P; Rich Hudock ’93; Jane Josephson ’F/S; Anne Kline ’81; Rob Kossar ’89; Charlie Lieb ’70; Vin McCaffery ’98; Gerry and Norman Merksamer ’52 ’84P; John Plunkett ’74; C. Keith Rust ’57 ’82P ’88P; Dan Saunders ’78; William Schantz ’86; H. George Shoffner ’75; Richard ’81 and Lisa ’82 Titus; Barb Turanchik ’75 ’F/S; Edward Turanchik; Thad Turner ’61 ’83P; Brent Willey ’75; and Peter Yozzo ’88.
Story by Bill Doherty
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011