Worcester State announces naming of Gene J. and Julianne DeFeudis Wellness Center

November 16, 2023
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

Worcester State University is honoring the generosity and impact of philanthropists Gene and Julianne DeFeudis with the naming of the campus wellness center, a signature building which will now be called the Gene J. and Julianne DeFeudis Wellness Center.

For decades, the couple have supported 17 different programs, including scholarships that have benefitted more than 250 students. During the campaign for the construction of the Wellness Center, Mr. and Mrs. DeFeudis were instrumental in the fundraising effort. The Wellness Center has gone on to become the campus hub for health and fitness, special events, and athletic training and competition. The naming took effect on National Philanthropy Day, November 15, 2023.

“Naming the Wellness Center in honor of Gene and Julianne recognizes their lifetime partnership with Worcester State University and our students,” said President Barry Maloney. “Over the years, we have deeply appreciated their unhesitating support for our university, from scholarships to capital improvements to emergency funding for students. They understand that with a little support, our hardworking students can realize their tremendous potential, and we could not be more grateful for that support.”

Mr. and Mrs. DeFeudis say they have invested in Worcester State because “it’s a college where people who have financial needs can go with some support. We believe with a little support and a lot of motivation, almost anyone can achieve their dreams.”

The couple’s long-standing relationship with the university has included Mr. DeFeudis’s leadership on the Worcester State Foundation Board. Over the years, they established a family scholarship fund, supported numerous other scholarships and programs, sponsored the annual Foundation Golf Tournament, provided a matching gift for the Student Emergency Fund to give immediate relief to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and made a gift in support of the Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center opened in 2016 and sits at the heart of the campus. With 101,000 square feet that includes a two-level fitness center, the center provides comprehensive fitness programming, serves as a training center for the university’s 20 Division III athletic teams and hosts numerous university and community events throughout the year. To date, the center has seen more than 400,000 visitors for informal recreation, offered more than 4,200 group exercise classes, and hosted 1,650 intramural games.

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