Carnegie Mellon University

November 7, 2019

Dear Members of the CMU Community,

I am delighted to announce a significant project that will transform the CMU experience. Highmark Inc. has committed to a $35 million lead grant to support the construction of a comprehensive student health, wellness and athletics facility on our Pittsburgh campus. The 160,000-square-foot building will bring together under one roof critical student well-being services for the first time.

Assisting our students in developing and maintaining physical and mental health is an important part of our mission. This state-of-the-art facility will advance our vision for an integrated program that benefits students in all aspects of their lives, ensuring they thrive as they work to achieve their personal and professional goals.

When we launched the Task Force on the CMU Experience in 2016, student health and wellness were critical aspects of its charge. Bringing this new complex to reality represents a major achievement in taking action on its recommendations to expand services for and increase attention to students’ holistic well-being. By encouraging our students to embrace health and wellness as critical parts of their CMU experience, we will not only enhance their time here, but also prepare them for productive and fulfilling lives.

The new project will be located on the corner of Tech and Margaret Morrison streets, modernizing Skibo Gym and adding new facilities that will elevate CMU’s intercollegiate athletics program alongside an expansion that will house services and programs that support student well-being. Architect selection and the design process will begin shortly, reflecting our intention to expedite this high-priority project.

Planned features of the building include:

  • A modern new facility for University Health Services;
  • Expansion of Counseling and Psychological Services space to meet growing demand;
  • A performance gym for intercollegiate competition and large university events;
  • Two multi-purpose gyms for varsity, intramural and club sports, and training rooms, locker rooms and coaches’ offices for intercollegiate athletics;
  • Exam and treatment rooms for the sports medicine program; and
  • Dedicated facilities for wellness, mindfulness, religious and spiritual life initiatives.

I would like to acknowledge the vision and leadership of Gina Casalegno, dean of students and vice president for student affairs, as well as the hard work of her entire team. Their commitment and advocacy has been instrumental in getting us to this milestone.

Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network and CMU have a longstanding relationship. In 2013, we collaborated on the creation of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute, which works to accelerate technologies that transform the quality, affordability, simplicity and accessibility of health care solutions. And in 2017, we strengthened the relationship through strategic agreements that cover research and other projects among the organizations.

As you know, last week we launched Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University. Enhancing the CMU Experience is one of four university-wide aspirations for the campaign, and Highmark Inc.’s investment will accelerate our efforts in this critical area.

Please join me in thanking Highmark for its partnership on this exceptional project that will make possible a new level of support for our students.

Warm regards,

Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman Chair