May 11, 2021

UMW One of Eight Schools Receiving State Opioid Response Grant

Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing Hunter Rauscher with Gov. Ralph Northam.

Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing Hunter Rauscher with Gov. Ralph Northam.

Governor Ralph Northam announced today that the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has awarded $675,000 of federal State Opioid Response grant funding to Virginia Commonwealth University to expand substance use recovery programs at eight universities across the state, including the University of Mary Washington. UMW received a $50,000 grant earlier this year for its Eagles in Recovery program, putting UMW among only a handful in Virginia – and relatively few across the country – to offer support services for students recovering from substance use and addiction.

With weekly meetings, support groups and a dedicated safe space called the “clubhouse,” where those in recovery can escape the pressures of college life, Eagles in Recovery has served at least 10 students since its launch in 2017. These grant funds allow administrators to maintain and expand meetings and resources, bring on other facilitators and more, said Associate Director for Residence Life and Housing Hunter Rauscher, who started the program.

“I am thrilled that UMW is getting this opportunity to work with other Virginia institutions and the DBHDS to have access to these funds in order to offer additional services to our students in recovery from substance use disorder,” said Rauscher, who met with Gov. Northam earlier this week. “These funds have the potential of having a huge impact in helping students get to graduation without having to choose between their education and their recovery.”