The university’s Mr. and Miss Ole Miss, Tucker Fox and Savannah Smith, are using their platform on campus and partnership with the senior class to raise awareness for the William Magee Center for Wellness Education.
The center is set to open in September of this year, honoring the memory of William Magee, a former student and member of the Ole Miss Track and Field teams who died of an accidental drug overdose after he had graduated from the university.
Smith and Fox have worked in support of the center’s development in the months since last November, meeting with the Magee family and other invested groups on campus such as Campus Recreation and the Ole Miss Foundation.
Fox, a banking and managerial finance double major, said wellness is important to everyone’s daily lives, which makes the Magee Center such a need on campus.
“Whether it be substance abuse, alcohol, to mental health or anything in between, this place is going to be there directly for students for them to continue succeeding while here at Ole Miss,” Fox said.
Fox said he and Smith immediately knew they wanted to do this service project because it would have an impact on the majority of Ole Miss students. While campaigning for Mr. and Miss Ole Miss, both candidates focused on supporting the Ole Miss family.
“We came to the conclusion that we wanted to start a student awareness campaign that was two-fold,” said Smith, a senior journalism and public policy major. “The campaign would, most importantly, raise awareness of the general importance of wellness and the resources that the center is going to offer students.”
A fundraising campaign for the center operates a page on Ignite Ole Miss, the university’s crowdfunding website, with the goal of having at least 1,000 students donate $5 to help the Magee Center reach its overall fundraising goal of $1.5 million.
Smith and Fox have raised awareness for the campaign through social media and word of mouth. They have also partnered with senior class officers Guy Thornton, Andrew Glaze and Reid Patterson to increase senior class participation.
The officers plan to make the Class of 2018’s Legacy Gift, a gift given by each graduating class to be remembered by, a donation to the William Magee Center.
Smith said plans for the Magee Center began long before she and Fox became involved, but they’re excited to contribute.
“William’s parents have been working with university officials to raise the money to bring the Wellness Center to our campus,” Smith said. “We are just helping engage students with it. We want as many students as possible to take ownership of their own wellness and the wellness of other students around them.”