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Student Follows Gift with Volunteer Work at Magee Center
Ole Miss student Maddie Marine of Newport Beach, California, made a gift of $25,000 and a commitment of time to support the new William Magee Center for Wellness Education. The senior, pictured here in the demonstration kitchen, is dedicated to the overall mission of the Magee Center.

With a gift of $25,000 and lots of volunteer effort for the new William Magee Center for Wellness Education, a senior embodies the citizen-scholar model of service encouraged across the campuses of the University of Mississippi.

“I became interested in donating to the Magee Center because my brother has had struggles with health and wellness, so it became personal to me and made me want to help out in any way I can,” said donor and volunteer Maddie Marine, a psychology major from Newport Beach, California.

Named for Ole Miss alumnus William Magee, the late son of Kent and David Magee of Oxford, the center advocates for well-informed, healthful choices and encourages students to strive for wellness in an empowering, inclusive environment.

Over the summer, Marine helped prepare the center for its recent opening and dedication.

“I have learned about all of the programs the Magee Center has to offer and how nutrition, wellness and mental health play such a huge role in our everyday lives.”

Magee Center director Erin Cromeans said having Marine as a volunteer was “like a breath of fresh air.

“She was so driven to get the work done that we asked her to do that I had to give her more work,” Cromeans said. “It was nice to have someone who is connected to our overall mission the way Maddie is. It shined in all the work she did with us.”

Being located in the South Campus Recreation Center provides the ideal positioning to address holistic wellness for the student population, Cromeans said.

“The center will feature a demonstration kitchen, which we’re excited about, and anything from the demo kitchen that’s introduced during the fall semester was totally Maddie Marine’s idea.

“From our social media posts to the planning of the recipes, all demos we’re going to do over the fall semester were driven by her.”

Marine said her volunteer experience at the center continually reminded her of the importance of wellness education.

“The Magee Center is more than just a gym or recreation center; it’s a safe environment that students can go to for help with issues they may be struggling with,” she said. “It is a center that has so much to offer and provides so many resources to help students in every aspect of life.”

Marine was encouraged to become engaged in volunteer work by her parents, Jules and Wendy Marine, who are active on the Ole Miss Family Leadership Council.

“Giving back can be shown in so many different ways and there is always some time you can spare to help others,” Maddie Marine said.

Brett Barefoot, senior director of development for parent and family leadership, said Marine is a model of an emerging philanthropist who wants to make a difference.

“Maddie’s support of and involvement with the Magee Center is a wonderful example of true philanthropy,” he said. “She cares not only about the health and wellness of her current Ole Miss peers but also about those who will be students long after she graduates. This special gift will have a lasting impact.”

For Marine, the experiences she’s had while at college are invaluable.

“Ole Miss has given me such an amazing group of friends and has pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many ways,” said Marine. “I have tried so many new things here and have learned so much through all of my classes I have taken so far.

“Ole Miss will always have a piece of my heart and has created lifelong memories.”

Individuals and organizations wishing to support to the William Magee Center for Wellness Education Endowment with a gift of any size can mail a check with the center’s name in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655. Gifts of all sizes can be made online at

For more information, contact Brett Barefoot at or 662-915-2711.

By Mary Stanton Knight


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.