Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), formerly Pasadena College, moved to San Diego in 1973. The property they bought is perched on a hill overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Past occupants included United States International University, Cal Western University and various other groups including the military. The property, however, was originally developed by the Theosophical Society in the mid 1800's. They practiced communal living and brought many different types of vegetation to the area. Therefore the grounds feature many different plants and trees that are not indigenous to the area. Their buildings reflected their admiration for the environment with adornments of plant material and animal motifs.
The original Health Services was located in a building that also housed the physician that served the Theosophical community. Therefore you can tell that it was over 100 years old. Quaint and interesting, it was my "home" for the first twenty years of my time as Director of Health Services here at PLNU. However cute and homey this building may appear, there were certain detriments to having it serve as a health center. Confidentiality was not possible due to thin walls. Cleanliness could not be maintained due to age, old wood surfaces, rats, mice and various other critters. Temperature was either terribly cold or terribly hot, even in temperate San Diego. Location was not central to the students' activities. We were housed with Security and Property Development, which made for an interesting array of folks coming in the only door.
In November of 1997, Nicholson Commons was opened. This three story building houses Student Development, Spiritual Development, Cafeteria, Common Knowledge Bookstore, Point Break Cafe and the Wellness Center. To facilitate space and insure occupancy in the new building, Counseling Services and Health Services combined to form the Wellness Center. Therefore both worked together in the planning of the department. What has emerged is a professional area that is somewhat tucked away for privacy yet a vital presence in the hub of the campus.
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