Scripps Trustee Establishes Dean Johnson Endowed Wellness Fund for Student Mental Health

By Emily Glory Peters

Trustee Gale Picker P’14, P’19 has established a new mental health and wellness fund at Scripps College in honor of Charlotte Johnson, past dean of students and vice president of student affairs. In keeping with Johnson’s passion for student mental health programming, which expanded significantly at Scripps under her leadership, the Dean Johnson Endowed Wellness Fund will be used to promote self-care and provide students with resources to increase resilience and belonging.

“The college years are a pivotal time for students, and we recognize the importance of caring for their mental wellbeing in the same way we support their academic success. One can’t have the latter without the former,” says Interim President of Scripps College Amy Marcus-Newhall. “We are deeply grateful to once again partner with Gale in establishing a new fund dedicated to helping Scripps students flourish during their time here—not only as scholars, but as people.”

Scripps’ new wellness fund is named for Charlotte Johnson, past vice president and dean of student affairs

Scripps has expanded its wellness services over the last several years, with Johnson introducing a holistic wellness model, leading the launch of the EmPOWER Center, and helping establish the Tiernan Field House as the hub of student health.

As recent students grappled not only with the typical pressures of college life, but also a global pandemic and a national uptick in anti-Black and anti-Asian violence, additional enhancements have included new wellness programming through the Field House, increased student subsidies for unlimited therapy sessions, and rental assistance grants for those experiencing housing insecurity. Picker’s latest gift recognizes Dean Johnson’s commitment to expanding programs like these, and will scaffold similar resources to more fully integrate mental health support into the Scripps experience.

As a longtime champion of Scripps students, Picker has also given to other programs devoted to their success. In 2020, her gift to racial justice and equity initiatives equipped Scripps to directly address campus inequities by helping to establish a new antiracist fellowship program and the creation of the Associate Dean for Racial Equity position. In supporting mental health and wellness alongside these other initiatives, she hopes to foster an academic environment at Scripps that continues to prioritize the physical, mental, and emotional health of all students.

To make a gift in support of our students, please click here, select “Other” and enter “Dean Johnson Wellness Fund.”