NC State University Wellness and Recreation 2020-21 Value and Impact Report

Empowering the Wolfpack community to thrive.

Wellness and Recreation Participation

COVID-19 Impact

2020 - 21 Academic Year

NC State University began reducing operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17, 2020. Academic classes moved online, Wellness and Recreation facilities closed, and programs and services were abruptly ended or transitioned to an online format. As the State of North Carolina lifted restrictions, Wellness and Recreation opened Carmichael Gym on September 12, 2020, with reduced facilities, programs and services. The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted revenues and participation for the 2020-21 year.

As the COVID-19 pandemic passes the one-year mark, Wellness and Recreation continues to make operational adjustments for the health and safety of the campus community.

By The Numbers

15,328 Students

participated in Wellness and Recreation programs, services and facilities, totaling to 42% of all Recreational Sport fee-paying students.


of undergraduate students participated in Wellness and Recreation programs, services and facilities.

Classification Usage

percent of undergraduate students by academic classification that participated in Wellness and Recreation programs, services and facilities.


of graduate students participated in Wellness and Recreation programs, services and facilities.


of students living on-campus participated in Wellness and Recreation programs, services and facilities.


of international students participated in Wellness and Recreation programs, services and facilities.


visits to the Wellness and Recreation Center and Carmichael Gym during the 2020-21 academic year.

1,700 - 5,000

visits to the Wellness and Recreation Center and Carmichael Gym during any given day.

Program Highlights


Our aquatics program provides swim lessons, American Red Cross health and water safety courses and open swim for recreational users. The Aquatic Center also serves as a host site for practices and events for campus partners such as NC State Athletics, student organizations and the Department of Health and Exercise Studies.

Program Highlights

  • Swim lessons and aquatic facilities reservations were canceled for the 2020-21 year.
  • Implemented a process to provide certified pool operator training to aquatic supervisors, supporting Wake County's requirement for daily pool water chemical tests.

Club Sports

NC State students participate in more than 40 different club sports organizations, building social communities on campus. All clubs are student organizations that practice regularly and compete against other universities at the regional and national levels. Clubs engage in community service efforts, fundraise and participate in leadership development opportunities.

By the Numbers

  • Club organizations self-reported 970 students participated, totaling 3% of the NC State student population.
  • 42 organizations held 23,063 hours practice and competition.
  • 10 club sports did not operate in 2020-21 due to COVID-19 safety guidelines that limited capacity and high-risk activities.

Program Highlights


With more than 80 group fitness classes, an innovative small group training program and robust personal training offerings, our fitness program provides various experiences leveraging nationally-certified staff and innovative spaces that challenge, motivate and inspire.

By The Numbers

  • 3,605 students participated in fitness programs, totaling 10% of all NC State students.
  • Offered 3,314 group fitness classes in 30 different formats. On average, 18 users participated in each class.
  • Implemented remote personal training and outdoor personal training formats for 101 clients.
  • F45 Training resumed operation in January 2021 with limited equipment sharing, longer cleaning breaks and smaller class sizes. 147 passes were sold in the Spring 2021 semester.

Program Highlights

  • Livestreamed group fitness classes in response to COVID-19 limitations and restrictions. 659 users participated in livestreamed fitness classes.
  • NC State was recognized as an Exercise is Medicine® On-Campus "Gold Level Campus" for the sixth year by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). A "Gold Level" recognition is the highest level of recognition. It is reserved for universities with a formalized network with multiple health and well-being-related departments on campus, including physical activity in a student's treatment plan. students participated in Exercise is Medicine®.

Keep the Pack Moving

Gillian Torr '21 played an integral role in keeping the Wolfpack active and safe at the Wellness and Recreation Center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Wellness and Recreation has had the biggest impact on my future career goals."

Design Meets Biomechanics

Biomechanics and design might seem like separate fields. But Alyssa Cox '20 is mixing those two passions to find a career in athletic apparel and footwear innovation.

"Find things that you really, really love."

Intramural Sports

Intramural Sports offers the NC State community more than 60 leagues and special events that develop healthy behaviors and build relationships through sports.

Sports range from flag football, basketball, soccer and volleyball to exciting and unique events such as pool battleship, bubble soccer and cricket.

By the Numbers

  • 3,127 students participated in intramural sports, totaling 9% of all NC State students.
  • 66 league sports, special events and singles/doubles tournaments were offered during the 2020-21 year.

Program Highlights

  • Collaborated with UAB, Arts NC State and PackTV to host "Wolfpack’s Got Talent: At Home Edition" in Summer 2020. The virtual talent show allowed students and staff to show their talents to the NC State community. More than 2,700 votes were cast during the contest.

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures offers students unique outdoor trips to locations across the southeastern United States. Students looking to create an expedition can also rent outdoor equipment from the Outdoor Adventures Equipment Rental Center or climb to new heights at the Climbing Center, complete with top rope and bouldering options.

As part of our challenge course program, students, faculty and staff and external groups can develop individually or build community through customized programs in Schenck Memorial Forest or mobile teambuilding programs.

By the Numbers

  • 2,096 students participated in outdoor adventures programs, totaling 6% of all NC State students.
  • Led 20 outdoor trips for 429 participants.
  • 1,999 users visited the Climbing Center.
  • Fulfilled 195 outdoor equipment rentals.
  • 662 individuals participated in 37 challenge course programs. 8 programs were held in-person and 29 held virtually.

Program Highlights

  • The Climbing Center opened as part of the Wellness and Recreation Center. Despite reduced open hours and limited capacity, participation was higher compared to previous years.
  • Led multiple virtual teambuilding professional development workshops for external professionals to learn how to facilitate programs.


Wellness and Recreation provides a robust array of programs and resources that promote the holistic well-being of the Wolfpack community. Programs including educational workshops on time management, wellness challenges and finals week events help students de-stress and support the well-being of the whole person.

ThriveWell seeks to cultivate a thriving community through experiences, resources and tools that connect to NC State's six elements of wellness: purpose, financial, physical, emotional, social and community.

By the Numbers

  • 1,964 students participated in ThriveWell programs and outreach, totaling 5% of NC State students.
  • Offered 134 outreach experiences, including educational sessions and workshops, wellness challenges and campuswide collaborative events.
  • ThriveWell facilitated 2 campus wellness challenges. 1,158 individuals participated in the "Pack Pause: Mindfulness Challenge" and "Healthy Pack: Nutrition Challenge."

Program Highlights

  • More than 261 students participated in 351 wellness coaching sessions.
  • NC State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University partnered to build community through a photovoice project called “Picturing Resilience.” The project promoted resilience and coping skills among college students dealing with a global pandemic and navigating daily life stressors. Students shared their experiences with resilience and community through pictures from everyday activities. Wellness and Recreation partnered with a local production company to produce a video, sharing student experiences during the pandemic.

Picturing Resilience Video

Campus Impact

Wellness and Recreation Center

The Wellness and Recreation Center opened its doors to the Wolfpack community on Monday, October 26, 2020.

The 92,000-square-foot building adds indoor and outdoor functional training areas, a climbing center with a bouldering cave, a fully functional teaching kitchen and a multilevel turf sprint ramp.

Photo Caption: View from the fourth-floor outdoor functional training area, facing east.

Wide Open Spaces

NC State's massive new Wellness and Recreation Center offers the campus community a next-level experience — even during the pandemic.

Photo Caption: View of Wellness and Recreation Center from the third-floor fitness center.

Finding Your Wolfpack: Wellness and Recreation

NC State offers a wealth of resources to care for your body, mind and overall well-being. Ahead of the spring semester's wellness days, we share five things to know or remember.

Photo Caption: Students working out in the Functional Training Center of the Wellness and Recreation Center.

Special Events

Wellness and Recreation organizes and hosts several special events for the NC State community. From summer orientation, Wolfpack Welcome Week events to celebrations of well-being, we spread the message of movement across campus.

Photo Caption: Students compete in a 40-yard dash at the Wellness and Recreation Center.

By The Numbers

  • Wellness and Recreation led 41 Wolfpack Welcome Week events.
  • The Moonlight Howl and Run Welcome Week Signature event transitioned to a virtual run in Fall 2020. 467 participants registered and picked up event t-shirts. Participants chose from two different running route options and completed the run independently due to COVID-19 impacts.
  • NC State organized 4 Wellness Days for the Spring 2021 semester. Classes were not held to better support the mental health and well-being of the campus community. Wellness and Recreation programmed special events during each of the four wellness days, including scavenger hunts, BINGO, fitness classes, field day, a combine and wellness packet pickups.
  • The Wellness and Recreation Center and Carmichael Gym hosted 850 scheduled reservations for NC State departments, student organizations and external groups.

Partnerships and Advancement

Wellness and Recreation provides support through advancement and marketing partnerships to help supplement our programs and services.

Our goal to inspire a thriving Wolfpack community starts with our programs and services and embodies of the Think and Do spirit.

Photo Caption: Chef Gary Tessinari of NC State Dining hosts a cooking demo during the 2021 Day of Giving. The cooking demo was livestreamed through social media from the Wellness and Recreation Center's teaching kitchen.

Partnerships and Advancement

By the Numbers

  • $5,241 was raised for the Wellness and Recreation Enhancement Fund.
  • $1,250 was generated through marketing partnerships. 5 corporate partners purchased 6 marketing partnership opportunities.


  • 68 individuals donated to the Wellness and Recreation Enhancement Fund during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Awarded two Wellness and Recreation Friends and Family Student Employee Scholarships. Katherine Bublitz '22, group fitness instructor and Chris Watts '22, facility operations supervisor, received scholarships toward 2021-22 tuition and fees. Scholarships were presented at the 2021 "Wolfies," an end-of-the-year student-employee recognition celebration.

Helping Others Through Movement

Katherine Bublitz '22 found a passion for giving back and helping others by teaching group fitness classes.

"There’s just such a positive energy around group fitness classes. I want to be able to create that experience for other people.”

Running the Point

Chris Watts '22 transformed his experience at NC State through the power of teamwork.

"I just want to be known as a person that was always giving, energetic, enthusiastic and always put his best foot forward.”

Student Development

Our student employment program supports more than 650 students employed annually. Students enhance their development by learning transferable skills that will prepare them for the future.

Photo Caption: Wellness and Recreation student-employees pose for a photo on the fourth-floor of the Wellness and Recreation Center.

Student Employment

By the Numbers

  • As of May 2021, Wellness and Recreation employs 392 students in 860 positions. The department is the largest student employer of students in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs.
  • 904 students applied with 289 hired.
  • 91% of student employees have a 3.0 GPA and above.


  • Collaborated with the Career Development Center to host 6 virtual recruitment sessions through the Career Fair Plus platform.
  • Bharat (BK) Karunakaran, ‘21, was awarded the 2020-21 John F. Miller Award. The John F. Miller Award recognizes a top student in collegiate recreation. The award is given to a program assistant that demonstrates leadership, teamwork, is committed to healthy, active lifestyles, exemplifies professionalism, and reflects a positive representation of Wellness and Recreation.

Building Community Through Sports

Bharat (BK) Karunakaran '21 took his passion of sports to impact the lives of NC State students.

"The impact that I knew I could have on people was a way for me to give back.”

Member Services

Wellness and Recreation supports the well-being of the entire Wolfpack community by offering memberships to employees, alumni and affiliates of NC State. Members enjoy full access to the Wellness and Recreation Center and Carmichael Gym, and amenities.

In addition to diverse programs and services, Wellness and Recreation generates significant membership revenue, offsetting student fees and supporting overall operational expenses.

Member Services

By the Numbers

  • 1,182 members as of June 2021.


  • Established a membership reactivation process allowing members impacted when campus closed in March 2020 to use their remaining membership time.
  • Completed a comprehensive audit of the Men’s and Women’s Locker Rooms. More than 1,800 lockers were checked for deficiencies, cleaned and lock combinations were checked for accuracy.
  • Fusion, a recreational management software providing an all-in-one solution to run daily operations and point of sale, was implemented on January 4, 2021. The software allows online purchasing of memberships and program activities and controls access through entrance turnstiles.

Marketing and Communications

Wellness and Recreation uses a robust and integrated marketing and communications strategy to inform and educate the Wolfpack community about the benefits of holistic well-being.

Marketing and Communications

Social Media Outcomes

  • 5,711 Twitter followers with a 3% average engagement rate.
  • 7,112 Instagram followers with a 9% average engagement rate.
  • 4,333 Facebook followers with a 3% average engagement rate.


Photos courtesy of Wellness and Recreation