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Nancy Sandler Gavrin '58 Champions Student Health, Fitness

$350,000 Gift Supports Peer Health Education Program

Nancy  Sandler Gavrin '58(October 3, 2011) -- Fitness-program owner and instructor Nancy Sandler Gavrin '58 has been in the exercise business for more than 30 years. So when she decided to make a significant gift to benefit Simmons students in connection with the Making Education Work Campaign, the College's Peer Health Education Program caught her attention. She liked what she heard.

"The program involves students helping to educate their peers about important health topics, including physical fitness. The goal is to create an awareness of health strategies that can last a lifetime," says Gavrin. "I want to help students understand how important it is to make their health a priority in their life now – to establish a pattern that will always benefit them. Physical, mental, and emotional health – it's all connected."

Gavrin traces her own commitment to fitness back to her teen years as a ballet student. "I kept up with dance at Simmons through the modern dance club, which performed at the College and around Boston," says Gavrin, who was a publication major (the precursor to today's communications program).

"At Simmons, we understand the important connection between health and wellbeing and student success. Nancy's generous gift supports our rich tradition of peer mentoring in health education and gives us the opportunity to impact the lives of students long after they graduate. We know that developing habits of self-care and positive fitness early in life can lead to better qualities of life, and greater health and wellbeing. And this is priceless!"

Sarah Neill
Dean, Student Life

These days, Gavrin promotes the benefits of moving to music at StayFit/NY, the fitness program in Scarsdale, N.Y she has owned since 2006. "We focus on exercises for women of all ages, and our classes are always accompanied by live piano music. It's a luxury, but it's worth it," says Gavrin. She cites studies that indicate exercising to music can boost cognitive ability. Another study shows it can increase endurance.

"Over the years, I've seen how exercise helps women feel better about themselves physically and emotionally. It increases their self-confidence. Some of my students didn’t start exercising until they reached their 60s – they just never made the time for themselves. I hope Simmons students will get started today," says Gavrin.


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