Ole Miss Athletics, M-Club double pledges to William Magee Center for Wellness Education

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017

With less than a week to go, the Ignite Ole Miss campaign for the William Magee Center for Wellness Education is getting a boost from Ole Miss Athletics and the M-Club.

Ole Miss Athletics and the Ole Miss M-Club announced that they will both match donations made to the William Magee Center for Wellness Education from Oct. 8-13. That means any dollar contributed this week will earn two more for this good cause — so it’s time for anyone who wants to help to step up now.

More than $224,000 has already been raised through the Ignite Ole Miss campaign, resulting in almost $800,000 in total pledges for the Magee Center with another $850,000 deferred gift. The center needs to raise an additional $700,000 before it opens in August 2018.

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The William Magee Center for Wellness Education will provide a heightened focus on drug and alcohol education and prevention at the University of Mississippi.

“We are so grateful to Ole Miss Athletics and the Ole Miss M-Club for stepping up and helping us close this Ignite campaign as a winner,” said David Magee, Publisher of the Oxford Eagle and the father of the late William Magee, whom the center is named after. “This need is so significant. William was an Ole Miss athlete who lettered in track. He would be so honored to know the Rebel athletics family was stepping up like this.

“Thanks to Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Athletics Ross Bjork and M-Club President John Darnell for caring so much about all students to help make this center happen,” Magee said. “I hope a few more people who care about helping our students will contribute now so that we can convert those matching dollars from athletics and the M-Club.”

The Ignite campaign has a new goal of $250,000 to reach its conclusion on Oct. 14, the day of Ole Miss’ Homecoming game.  The original campaign goal was $100,000, but generous gifts by Ole Miss alumni and friends have made this one of the most successful Ignite campaigns yet. Recent contributions from Ginger and Quentin Whitwell of Oxford, Olivia and Archie Manning of New Orleans and several Greek organizations on campus have helped the campaign eclipse its original goal.

“Please tell your family, friends, and colleagues about this significant project dedicated to providing a heightened focus on drug and alcohol education and prevention,” the university stated.

“The Center for Wellness Education at Ole Miss will honor William’s legacy, representing all who have had lives and dreams disrupted by substance abuse. But it is so much more than that: the center is about the commitment to educate the whole person — mind, and body — so that our students of today and tomorrow can live their best lives,” the statement said.

“The Center for Wellness Education’s location at the new South Campus Recreation Center and transportation hub will provide ideal positioning to address holistic wellness for the student population. The majority of students are committed to the pursuit of personal health and wellness as evidenced by the recent momentum in substance abuse conversations, outreach events, task forces and training.”

“However, data reveals many students use alcohol and drugs to manage academic pressures, to fit in, to sleep and more. Among the goals of the Magee Center will be to encourage students to be accountable for outcomes related to their substance-use decisions,” the university said.