05 Mar 2024

Gwinnett College Students Provide Free Massages to SAU Community

As Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) continues to persevere through its challenges, the Gwinnett Colleges & Institute (Gwinnett College) students from the Raleigh campus arrived at SAU with a heartwarming mission. In preparation for midterms and with a heart for wellness, these compassionate students offered free massages to the SAU faculty, staff, and students.

“Amidst our challenges, the selfless act of the Gwinnett College students has brought a beacon of hope and wellness to our campus,” said SAU Interim President Dr. Marcus H. Burgess. “The generosity and compassion embodied in their actions have left an indelible mark on our community, allowing us to face our future endeavors with a renewed spirit.”

The event saw 16 student therapists from Gwinnett College sharing their expertise and providing pro-bono massage services to the SAU community, delivering a total value of approximately $4,000. With each therapist contributing their skills at $60 per hour, the collective effort brought a sense of rejuvenation and care to the SAU campus.

“I believe in HBCUs,” said Shantael Maynor, Massage Chair of Gwinnett College. “I thought this would be great for the students and staff morale.”

According to the National College Health Assessment, massage therapy effectively relieves stress. In addition, massage therapy boosts levels of dopamine while lowering levels of cortisol at the same time.

“I felt like we needed this,” said Branden McGhee, a sophomore majoring in psychology from New York, NY. “I’ve seen many classmates here, and I appreciate it. With so much going on this week in school during midterm week, it was the perfect time.”

Furthermore, according to the National Institute for Health (NIH), students can improve mood, classroom attention, and focus with regular massage therapy. The American Massage Therapy Association also reports that headaches, especially tension headaches, frequently get in the way of study and sleep, with up to 30-50% of young people suffering from regular headaches.

“The massages provided by the Gwinnett College students were a great stress reliever,” said Alaysia Lane, a junior majoring in theatre from Washington, DC. “Now I feel like I can complete my midterms and 10-page papers. I feel great.”

Today’s massage session marked the fourth occasion this year that the Gwinnett College students have ventured to the SAU campus, showcasing their dedication to fostering wellness. While initially focusing on providing services to SAU’s student-athletes, these remarkable students expanded their generosity by extending their services to benefit the entire SAU community.

“With all the stress that’s been going on in school and everything and in the world, the massages rejuvenated me,” said Christen Roye, a sophomore exercise science major from Miami, FL. “I think the Gwinnett College students did very well, and I hope they proceed to do great things in their studies.”

As SAU remains steadfast in its mission to provide a nurturing environment for its students and staff, the support and care extended by the Gwinnett College students serve as a testament to the power of community and the collective pursuit of well-being.

“During midterms week, I thought it was a perfect break for our student-athletes to get off their feet and receive massages to help them in the classroom and out in the field,” said SAU Strength and Conditioning Coach Kevin Moroney. “Today’s session with Gwinnett College was open to the entire campus community. Their students were hospitable to us and did a great job.”

Click here to learn more about Gwinnett College’s Raleigh campus.