Gift Will Bolster U.Va. Alcohol- Education Program
16, 1999 -- Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., the world's
largest brewer, has given the University of Virginia $150,000 to
support a program aimed at reducing risky drinking behaviors among
unrestricted gift to the Office of Health Promotion in U.Va'.s Department
of Student Health will be used for research, development and implementation
of a five-year social marketing program that emphasizes alcohol
at the beginning of this academic year, the social marketing program
focuses on reducing high-risk drinking behaviors among first-year
students. Social marketing promotes change in behaviors and attitudes
by working with students to deliver programs and informational materials
that match their interests.
and U.Va. share a common goal of decreasing high-risk drinking behaviors,"
said Dr. James C. Turner, director of U.Va.'s student heath department.
"The gift gives us the resources to enhance the health and well-being
of students and provides a better environment for learning."
L. Nau III, an alumnus and president of the Houston-based Silver
Eagle distributorship of Anheuser-Busch, was instrumental in obtaining
the gift. Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Capital Campaign,
he heard Turner describe the social marketing program last spring.
Impressed by the program's potential, he arranged for U.Va. officials
to meet Anheuser Busch representatives.
is taking a leadership role in dealing with a serious social problem,"
said Nau. "The social marketing program is one of the most positive
and pro-active programs I've seen."
summer U.Va. hired health educator Elena Bertolotti to research
and develop a social marketing program. She has completed a series
of focus groups and distributed a survey among first-year students
to gain an understanding of their attitudes, knowledge and behaviors
about alcohol. After evaluating the information, she will work with
students to design programs and public-information materials aimed
at reducing high-risk drinking behaviors.
are many abstainers and responsible drinkers at U.Va. who seldom
get credited for making sound choices. We intend to develop a public-information
campaign that highlights what U.Va. students are doing right," Bertolotti
recognizes the validity of the social-norms marketing program, one
of the few shown to be effective in reducing risky drinking behaviors,"
said Turner. "For 15 years Anheuser-Busch has supported the BACCHUS/Gamma
Peer Education Network, which has taken a leadership role in promoting
positive norms among college students. We've been encouraged by
the changes in student drinking that have occurred to date, but
we can't let down our guard. This gift puts student health in a
pro-active position to reduce risky drinking behavior."
Sieg, president of J.W. Sieg & Co. Inc., the local Anheuser-Busch
distributor, and member of U.Va.'s Alumni Board of Managers, met
with student health officials and Anheuser Busch representatives
to discuss the program. "I am very proud of the Anheuser-Busch commitment
to the University and equally proud of Virginia to have come up
with such an innovative program to combat alcohol abuse," he said.
has been supporting programs that fight alcohol abuse on college
campuses nationwide since the early 1980s. Among its major efforts
has been a $2.75 million gift to the National Collegiate Athletic
Association Foundation to fund alcohol education programs. It also
supports the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week held on
has a long history of supporting efforts at the college level to
fight alcohol abuse and encourage personal responsibility and respect
for the law," said Francine I. Katz, vice president of consumer
affairs. "The gift will allow U.Va. to design programs that meet
Tate, associate director for health promotion, believes the social
marketing effort will work well at U.Va. because of its tradition
of student leadership. "We hope the social marketing effort will
become a model program. The Anheuser-Busch partnership has great
potential to benefit U.Va. students," she said.
Ida Lee Wooten, (804) 924-6857.