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Beyoncé, Peloton donate health app, increase intern opportunities at HBCUs

By David Pendered

The Freshman 15 weight gain was a challenge for college students even before the pandemic. Beyoncé and Peloton have responded with a free health program for students of Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse University and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Beyoncé said in a statement she hopes the gift she and Peloton are providing students at HBCUs will support their personal fitness programs. Credit: Rocbeyonce, wikimedia, Wembley, 2016

Beyoncé and Peloton have provided 2-year digital memberships to online fitness classes at 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including  four in Atlanta.

The memberships offer access to live and on-demand fitness classes taught by the array of instructors in the Peloton fitness program. The app can be used with or without equipment. The total value of the gift was estimated at $1.1 million.

Peloton, an exercise and media company, also announced plans to build relationships with the 10 schools to provide increased career help for students. The company did not elaborate on this part of its announcement:

  • “Additionally, we are building our relationships with each of these schools to pursue long-term recruiting partnerships at the internship and undergraduate levels.”

Beyoncé and the company have made program available at 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The apps are to be available on all campuses by the end of November.

CAU President George French said in a statement the gift adds to the focus on physical well being the school seeks to instill:

  • “Our students are our top priority, and we remain dedicated to ensuring they not only receive a world-class education, but their physical and emotional well-being is supported as well. We are elated and appreciate this new partnership with Beyoncé and Peloton. These types of collaborations help our students to reach their goals and aid in shaping their future.”

Beyoncé said in a statement on her website she hopes the memberships will encourage students to maintain their fitness and celebrate homecoming:

  • “This year has tested all of us and I know the college experience looks a little different than planned, and many were not able to celebrate Homecoming the way they wanted to. Still, I hope everyone was able to take time to reflect and to celebrate the strength, excellence and resilience of our community. I’m proud to celebrate the students at HBCUs with this donation, to encourage them to find and embrace their own wellness regimens.

A report on the company’s website declares the deal to be Our most epic collaboration ever:

  • “The launch of our collaboration with Beyoncé, our most requested artist by more than 3.6 million Members, commemorates Homecoming season, an annual fall celebration for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that honors tradition and legacy.
  • “As most Homecoming festivities shifted to virtual celebrations due to the global pandemic, we worked closely with Beyoncé to create a series of themed workout experiences to help extend Homecoming to Peloton Members via classes across multiple fitness categories, including indoor cycling, running, strength, bootcamp, yoga and meditation.”

Pandemic-related weight gain among college students was reported as recently at Monday by researchers at Grand Canyon University, in Phoenix. This being academia, the report comes with a lofty title: “Self-quarantine from COVID-19 and the Implications of Altered Eating Behaviors on Weight Gain.” Results were reported by 157 participants who completed an online survey.

A third of college students reported weight gain. Just over half the respondents reported they had increased their snacking when feeling stressed, and half reported increased snacking after dinner.


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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