Kappa Sigma makes donation to Ole Miss Center for Wellness

Published 10:36 am Friday, September 1, 2017

The Kappa Sigma fraternity at Ole Miss has made a $25,000 commitment to the just-announced William Magee Center for Wellness Education on campus.

The wellness center is being created at Ole Miss to support student drug and alcohol education.

Kappa Sigma’s gift is significant both because the fraternity is making a substantial commitment to the cause and because it helped kick in a $50,000 2-for-1 matching pledge from the Madison Charitable Foundation, founded by Houston, Texas businessman and Mississippi native Wiley E. Hatcher.

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“The Delta-XI Chapter of Kappa Sigma is honored to help support the William Magee Center on the Ole Miss campus,” said Trent Burns, a university alum and president of the fraternity’s house corporation. “This center will tackle a very real though seldom addressed the issue on college campuses across the nation. Adjusting to life as a young adult can be challenging and drugs and alcohol can add to that challenge.”

Kappa Sigma’s Delta-XI chapter, under the student leadership of president Noah Richardson, comes a day after the fraternity sent $10,000 to flood victims in Houston, Texas in an effort that started with a tweet.

The fraternity posted a tweet earlier this week saying they would donate 25 cents for every retweet and 10 cents for every “like.”

The response was high, with 18,000 retweets.

“We have a lot of Houston guys in our chapter, and we felt like it was one of our responsibilities to give back to the people in need,” said Richardson. “We put the tweet out there and came up with an amount and it just blew up from there.”

Kappa Sigma plans to donate $10,000 altogether to Houston.

“The members of Kappa Sigma are excited to be able to team up with our community to bring the William Magee Center for Wellness Education to the Ole Miss,” said Richardson. “Our University is focused on the student body’s mental health and addiction issues and we commend the Magee’s for leading the way to provide students with the tools they need to overcome the struggles of addiction they may be facing.”

Fundraising for the William Magee Center for Wellness Education at Ole Miss is underway with an IGNITE campaign. More than $173,000 has been raised for the center in two weeks and the Kappa Sigma commitment that helped kick in the $50,000 donation from the Madison Charitable Foundation made a big difference.

The Madison Charitable Trust, with leadership from Ole Miss alum Joc Carpenter who’s a member of the foundation’s board, has supported multiple university programs in recent years including the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy.

A group of founding members including Diane and Dick Scruggs, The Oxford Treatment Center (American Addiction Centers), Cris and Jay Hughes, Becca and Phil Mehlin, and the Sigma Nu and Kappa Alpha fraternities had joined Kent and David Magee in providing initial funding to establish the William Magee Center for Wellness Education.

The Magee Center had $500,000 and a deferred gift of $850,000 committed before the launch of the IGNITE campaign, which is still underway.

Among the top contributors during the IGNITE campaign include Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Ginger and Quentin Whitwell of Oxford; Steve and Rosie McDavid of Oxford; Rush and Lesley Mosby of Jackson; Amy and Mike Brooks of Jackson; and Sarah Faulkner of Jackson.

The center is named in honor of the late William Magee, the son of David Magee, EAGLE Publisher. He was a former Ole Miss student in the Sally Barksdale Honors College, the Croft Institute, on the Rebel track team and in a fraternity. William died after graduation from an accidental drug overdose.