Together, We Can Change Lives.
Alcohol and drug misuse is a serious concern on college campuses everywhere, including the University of Mississippi. While the problem may be the same on every campus, our approach to finding a solution is different. Guided by the latest research, and with creativity and innovation, we believe an interdisciplinary focus can change student behavior.
Too many college students use alcohol and drugs, believing these substances will help them manage academic and social pressures; others use them to try to help with sleep. We know these are high-risk and ineffective behaviors that threaten the health and safety of young adults.
To illustrate the Ole Miss Family’s deep commitment to accelerate and identify solutions to this crucial issue, we have established the William Magee Center for Wellness Education and are encouraging everyone to make a gift to boost this initiative. The Center will be located within the new South Campus Recreation Center, scheduled to open September 2018.
William Shared Light and Laughter.
The son of David and Kent Magee of Oxford, William Magee entered Ole Miss in 2008 and was a top-tier student in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Croft Institute for International Studies, as well as a member of the Ole Miss Men’s Track team, the SEC academic honor roll and Sigma Nu fraternity. But, William was also shy and suffered from anxiety, using alcohol and drugs initially to help him fit in and be more comfortable in social situations. He planned to stop using once he graduated.
In his senior year, William realized his drug habit was out of control. He graduated from Ole Miss and entered a rehabilitation facility. More than a year and several facilities later he was making progress, working in Nashville and planning to attend law school. He met friends from college to enjoy a concert after work one Friday evening and relapsed into drug use, which claimed his life in an accidental overdose.
William, who brought light and laughter to his family and friends, was 23 years old.
His Dream — Now Our Dream — Can Be Realized.
William had hoped to one day be strong enough to help others. He is no longer with us, but his desire to help has been realized with the establishment of this significant program named in his honor.
The William Magee Center for Wellness Education at Ole Miss represents all who have had lives and dreams disrupted by substance use. Our goal with this new center is to change students’ and families’ lives by becoming a nationally recognized leader in substance misuse prevention, support and research in a collegiate environment. Plans are already underway to host a biennial national symposium that will bring together prominent leaders to share research and expertise while creating cutting-edge solutions.
The Magee Center will be located in the 100,000-square-foot South Campus Recreation Center currently under construction. Among the facility’s recreational offerings will be one of the nation’s only collegiate recreation indoor high-ropes course, north Mississippi’s only indoor climbing wall, abundant fitness space, three group fitness studios, two basketball courts, multi-activity court, walking/jogging track, and a classroom with a demonstration kitchen. The recreation facility will be adjacent to the South Campus Rail Trail and its multiple hiking, running and biking paths. The Magee Center for Wellness Education’s location at the South Campus Recreation Center provides ideal positioning to address holistic wellness for our student population.
With your help, we can achieve life-changing and life-saving strategies.
We’re On A Mission To Find Solutions.
Become part of this mission to help Ole Miss students and others. Already, champions have stepped up to make this happen. 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 have joined Kent and David Magee in providing initial funding to establish the William Magee Center for Wellness Education.
But many more gifts are needed for this significant mission to open the Center and fund its programming and work for years to come. Gifts of all sizes will combine to fuel the momentum of this initiative. Today, please step forward with a contribution to support the William Magee Center because the wellness education of Ole Miss students and other individuals matters.
Among objectives of the William Magee Center for Wellness Education are:
- Increase students’ knowledge and skills related to responsible consumption of alcohol using research-informed harm-reduction strategies
- Provide a comprehensive, one-stop shop for education, research, support and advocacy for alcohol- and drug-related issues on the Ole Miss campus
- Make available counseling, treatment and outside referrals to help members of the campus community overcome substance misuse
- Engage in research to develop and improve best practices related to prevention and intervention strategies