For more than 30 years, Canyon Ranch Founders Mel and Enid Zuckerman and Canyon Ranch have supported research and demonstration projects dedicated to expanding the health consciousness of people of all ages and from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. Their commitment to optimal health extends far beyond the guests of Canyon Ranch. In 1984, Mel founded the Wellness Council of Tucson (now known as the Wellness Council of Arizona), a non-profit organization fostering worksite wellness. Today, 200 businesses with more than 250,000 employees are members of the organization. Mel serves on the WELCOAZ Board of Directors and holds the lifetime title of President Emeritus. Additionally, in 1991, Mel funded the Wellness Center at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
In 1993, Mel and Enid established the Canyon Ranch Healthy Living Scholarship Program. To date, more than 5,000 men and women with potentially life-threatening health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and smoking have been awarded Canyon Ranch scholarships.
In 1997, Canyon Ranch funded the Harvard Cancer Risk Index program at the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention. The project is designed to help people increase their ability to understand their risk of cancer. Also in 1997, Canyon Ranch made a significant donation to the University of Arizona College of Public Health. The funds are used, in part, to fund public programs on health promotion and prevention.
Mel was inducted into the Club Industry of America Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1993, at the recommendation of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Mel received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the University of Arizona Alumni Association. In 1996, Mel and Enid received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Family Business Council of Greater New York. In 1997, Mel and Enid were inducted into the inaugural Condé Nast Traveler Hall of Fame for their role in “revolutionizing the American spa.”
In 1998, Mel was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from the University of Arizona. During the ceremony, he was recognized as a national leader in health promotion and lifestyle enhancement.
In 2001, Mel and Enid were presented with the Outstanding Leadership Award from the University of Arizona College of Public Health. In 2002, the University of Arizona College of Public Health was renamed the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) in recognition of their important work as advocates of healthier lifestyles and disease prevention. Also in 2002, Mel Zuckerman received the “Founders Award” from the Tucson Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his significant long-term community involvement.
Mel is an Advisory Board member of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health, and the Progeria Research Foundation. He also serves as a Trustee of Springfield (MA) College.