By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
Baylor accepted a $2.5 million gift on Monday from Baylor Regent Bob Beauchamp and his wife Laura Beauchamp to create an addiction recovery center on campus.
The Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center will be located in East Village Residential Community and will “dramatically enhance Baylor’s efforts to foster the holistic well-being of its students in a manner that reflects the university’s values as a Christian community where wholeness, spiritual growth and academic success are priorities,” according to a statement from Baylor.
Baylor’s statement noted that college students are disproportionately affected by addiction, citing that alcohol and illicit drug use is highest among 18-to-25 year-olds and that 31.6 percent of college students across the country meet the criteria for substance use disorders.
“Laura and I strongly believe that young men and women who are struggling with addiction should be supported and treated with compassion and grace,” Beauchamp said. “We believe Baylor, as a Christian university, should be the best in the world at supporting its students who are struggling. Removing the stigma of addiction is crucial to ensuring that students feel they can seek out resources to help them overcome their challenges and fully realize all that God is calling them to become.”
According to Baylor’s statement, the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center will provide support services for students who are in the initial stages of identifying an addiction. The program also provides reintegration support for students who may have left school and for students who are already in recovery.
Baylor currently does offer recovery support services through the Baylor Counseling Center and Wellness Office.
“Bob and Laura Beauchamp’s compassion for students and their leadership in making possible the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center are truly remarkable,” said Baylor Interim President David Garland at a ceremony Monday afternoon. “Our students desire well-being and possess a hope to flourish in life and a drive to become leaders in their communities and professions. For those in recovery from addiction, this will be an invaluable resource.”
Remarks were made at the ceremony by Garland, Executive Vice President and Provost Greg Jones, Student Body President Lindsey Bacque and the Beauchamp’s. Therapy dogs from Angel Paws also attended the ceremony.
Baylor’s statement said the endowment will support increased staff and a wide array of programming, including weekly support and community recovery meetings, recovery coaching and conversations with mentors as well as campuswide educational outreach efforts that identify social environmental influences, provide education on the support services that are available at Baylor and encourage peer-to-peer support.