Magee59 Magee All Grads Matching Endowment Fund

Magee High School, Vancouver, BC, Class of 1959

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Magee All Grads Matching Endowment Fund
(Vancouver Foundation, Agency Fund)

In 2014, Magee Secondary School will celebrate its 100th Anniversary. As part of the centennial celebrations, a number of former alumni have been working to establish an endowment fund to support students at the school who are involved in socially responsible initiatives.

The idea for the fund was the brainchild of Wilson Baker, a member of the Class of 1959. For the past two years, Bill Harvey and Brooke Campbell, also members of the Class of 1959, have been working hard to establish the fund.

Together, these gentlemen envisioned the fund to act as a legacy gift from the grads of the first century of Magee to the next with the intention of teaching and supporting philanthropic values.

As a result of these efforts, The Magee All Grads Matching Endowment Fund has been established at the Vancouver Foundation as an Agency Fund. Each year, up to 80% of the income from the fund may be used to match monies raised by students for projects that are designated to benefit the wider community.

It is hoped that by 2014, the fund will have grown to a sizeable amount through donations from former graduates, thereby supporting a wide range of student-based projects.

Follow these links to learn more about:
Vancouver Foundation - Agency for MAGMEF
How to contribute to MAGMEF (follow Donor and Agency links)
Club and Charitable Activities of current Magee students.

Magee High School

Check out the Magee High School website which includes an alumni page supporting MAGMEF and introducing plans for Magee Centenial (2014). In addition, there are links pointing to other school information including Club and Charitable Activities of current Magee students

MAGMEF Meeting: Alumni and School

A meeting was held at Magee High School at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday April 22 2010 to publicize the Magee All Grads Matching Endowment Fund and begin planning for the school centenary in 2014. The meeting was hosted by Magee principal Randy George and attended by 31 graduates, mainly from the 1950s and 1960s, and several Magee students.

The idea of an endowment fund originated with Bill Harvey of the class of 1959 and evolved over the course of the past year. Wilson Baker came up with the concept of matching grants to help support socially responsible student projects, and Bill, Wilson and Brooke Campbell worked with Mr. George to bring the idea to fruition.

The evening began with a performance by a school string quartet, a welcome by the president of the student council and an address by Randy George. Mr. George described the many programs offered by the school and the wide range of student activities. Aside from the usual clubs and teams, a number of students are involved in group projects to help others on both a global and a local scale. Representatives of three such groups gave short presentations on their various projects.

Two grade 12 members of the Global Connections Club described a self-funded spring break trip to Guatemala. There the group worked under the auspices of the Comité Campesino del Altiplano (Campesino Committee of the Highlands) to help build a chicken coop and a preschool–daycare. The students had to learn both basic building skills and enough Spanish to follow instructions. They lived in the village of Don Pancho, enjoyed Mayan food, and quickly formed bonds with both the adults and children of the community.

Two grade 10 students described a project much closer to home. The members of the Queen Alex Club work with students at Queen Alexandra elementary school in East Vancouver. The major activity involves a literacy program. Besides providing books for the school library and reading with the children, Magee students pair with a Queen Alexandra pen pal “buddy” to exchange letters, which are greeted with much enthusiasm on both sides. At Christmas the students give each class a book and candy canes, prepare food and gift hampers, and provide toques and mittens for all kindergarten students.

Two grade 9 students in the Leaders Program spoke of the Adopt a Village program run by Free the Children (“children helping children through education”). They are currently raising money to help build a school in Kenya. The expense and logistics of traveling to Kenya makes it unlikely that they will be able to take part in the actual building of the school, but that doesn’t lessen their enthusiasm for the cause.

The students raise money to support their projects through various means including bottle drives, coffee sales, walkathons, t-shirt sales and the annual Magee Market Fair. The Queen Alex Club, for example, has raised approximately $65,000 over the seven years of its existence. The endowment fund would match these student-raised funds, up to a certain level, and all of the money granted would go to support the project in question.

Responding to questions from the audience, the students spoke of the benefits they gained in learning about the world beyond their own community while helping others, and of their increased appreciation for the life they lead themselves.

Following the student presentations Bill Harvey introduced the Honorary Patron of the fund, Vancouver bandleader Dal Richards, who has his own fund at the Vancouver Foundation. The music program at Magee has certainly evolved since Dal graduated from Magee in the 1930s. His jazz band was viewed at the time as a potential catalyst for student unrest, forcing a move to Point Grey Junior High School for a very successful concert. Richards, now 92, ran with the torch in the 2010 Olympic relay, zip-trekked across Robson Square in Vancouver, and fully intends to participate in Magee’s 100th birthday celebration in 2014.

Bill then spoke about the rationale of the fund and its role in supporting the development of philanthropic values and social responsibility among the students of Magee. Judging from the student presentations, those values are already in place and the matching funds eventually provided will be put to good use. Brooke Campbell spoke briefly of the need to form a council of grad year representatives to coordinate with the school, and Randy George thanked those in attendance and concluded the meeting.

At the end of the evening student volunteers gave a guided tour of the school – no bashed-up lockers, no graffiti, no litter in the halls or on the grounds, and we were assured that this is the norm. The students care about their school, and it shows. It may not be the school we went to all those years ago, but it’s a pretty good replacement for the old Magee.

Reported by: Cynthia (Cowan) Hou