Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia has received a $1 million gift to support the John Fontaine Jr. Center for Alcohol Awareness and Education. The funding will help the University Health Center teach students about responsible decision-making regarding alcohol and other drugs on campus and in the community.
The gift is a continuation of years of support from Jack and Nancy Fontaine of Houston. Established in 2006, the center is named for their son, John Fontaine Jr., who died in an alcohol-related car crash when he was 16. The Fontaines aim to educate young people about alcohol. They believe that if John Fontaine Jr. would have had correct information he would not have gotten into a car with someone who was drinking and his death could have been avoided.
“Part of the learning experience at the University of Georgia is the growth of character and responsibility,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are grateful to Jack and Nancy for their role in ensuring our students have excellent resources and educational programming to be safe and successful during their time here.”
The center, housed within the health promotion department of the University Health Center, provides a range of prevention, intervention and recovery support services to the UGA community.
“This opportunity allows us to extend the reach and impact of the center’s mission,” says Jean Chin, executive director at the University Health Center. “We have already made an impact within the UGA community. However, this funding will continue to play out the vision of the Fontaines to support future campus-wide prevention initiatives in response to ever-changing, current trends and culture.”
In total, Jack and Nancy Fontaine have donated more than $4 million to enhance the university’s alcohol education initiatives. Since its inception, the funding has provided the ability to generate several programs to assist students while they navigate their college experiences. These programs are the mentor program, Bystander Intervention, Collegiate Recovery Community, Safe Server and Sexual Assualt Training for Bars, Wellness Coaching and coming this fall, WatchDawgs.
The mentor program pairs students at risk with a faculty and/or staff member. The pair will meet to develop a values-based personal mission statement and create an action plan for improved career, campus and community engagement for the student.
“There is strong evidence that students who participate in mentor programs are more likely to experience success and reduce high risk behaviors,” says Liz Prince, associate director of UGA’s Fontaine Center.
The Bystander Intervention aims to improve safety by teaching community members intervention techniques when they see a peer in danger.
The Collegiate Recovery Community, located within Memorial Hall, provides support and resources for students recovering from addiction.
“The John Fontaine Jr. Center’s peer-led education allows participants to feel comfortable talking about their alcohol use and what they can do to stay safe, happy and healthy,” says Meagan Doyle, chair of the center’s Student Advisory Board. “I have seen the positive impact our student board has had on our fellow students, and it makes me proud to know I am making a difference.”
Leadership in the division of student affairs joined Morehead in expressing their gratitude for the continued support of the Fontaines.
“The John Fontaine Jr. Center’s programs can be invaluable to the academic success of students,” said Victor K. Wilson, vice president for student affairs. “We’re proud to have the Fontaines’ amazing support and vision to enable UGA to provide an environment of respect and responsibility for our students.”
For more information regarding The John Fontaine Jr. Center for Alcohol Awareness and Education, see uhs.uga.edu/aod/index.html.
University Health Center
The University Health Center, a department within the university’s division of student affairs, is a top-tier, comprehensive health center, staffed by more than 200 employees, including 17 physicians with board certification or board eligibility in internal medicine, family practice, sports medicine, psychiatry and gynecology. Extensively, the University Health Center provides health education, prevention and wellness through its health promotion department. For more information, see uhs.uga.edu.
UGA Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs comprises 20 campus departments that enhance the learning environment for students at the University of Georgia by stimulating the learning process, integrating the in-class and out-of-class experiences, promoting an environment conducive to growth and discovery and facilitating intellectual, spiritual, social, occupational, physical, cultural and emotional development. For more information, see studentaffairs.uga.edu.