College Presidents Discuss Emotional and Psychological Health of Students at NYU Colloquium

November 14, 2016

On Friday, November 4th, over two dozen current and former presidents met at New York University for a special forum on policies and practices related to the health and wellness of college students.

The day-long colloquium, entitled “New Thinking on Student Health and Wellness” was hosted by the Mary Christie Foundation (MCF), a thought leadership and philanthropic organization dedicated to promoting the health and wellness of young adults.


The event, spearheaded by MCF chair, John Sexton, President Emeritus of NYU, focused on both the issues and the solutions to a myriad of student health problems from how to address the escalating rate of mental health issues on campus to how to create communities of belonging so students can thrive both academically and emotionally.  The forum was intentionally conversational with no formal speakers, giving the presidents the opportunity to talk freely among their peers.   The discussions were moderated by Terry Fulmer, President of the John A. Hartford Foundation, and Molly Broad, President of the American Council on Education.


Each of the presidents put forth individual perspectives and contributed to collective thinking on a range of strategic questions including: the role of universities in ensuring a student’s emotional wellbeing; the correlation between untreated mental health/substance abuse and learning; the impact of scale and resources on student health outcomes; and the critical question of how colleges and universities can work together to collectively address health, wellness and wellbeing.


Represented at the colloquium were four year institutions of various profiles, from small, religious colleges to large public universities, urban and rural campuses throughout the country, as well as single sex and HBCU schools.


Friday’s event followed the Foundation’s first annual awards dinner where MCF fellow awards were presented to:  Phillip Satow, Founder and Chair of the Jed Foundation dedicated to suicide prevention and mental health among college students; and Dr. Amelia Arria, of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, the nation’s preeminent researcher and advocate on substance abuse and untreated mental health among college students.


For more information, please contact Marjorie Malpiede, The Mary Christie Foundation, at


Attending Presidents

Robert Berdahl, University of California-Berkeley, Emeritus

Molly Broad, American Council on Education

Robert Caret, University of Maryland

Kim Cline, Long Island University

Brady Deaton, University of Missouri, Emeritus

John DeGioia, Georgetown University

Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard University

Richard Freeland, Northeastern University, Emeritus

William Fox, St. Lawrence University

Paula Johnson, Wellesley College

Biddy Martin, Amherst College

Joseph McShane, Fordham University

Martin Meehan, University of Massachusetts

Lee Pelton, Emerson College

Anne Prisco, Felician University

Clayton Rose, Bowdoin College

Susan Scrimshaw, The Sage Colleges

Joel Seligman, University of Rochester

John Sexton, New York University, Emeritus

Barbara Snyder, Case Western Reserve University

Clayton Spencer, Bates College