Marianna and Alan Magee are textbook examples of paying it forward, and the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business graduates aren’t waiting for the twilight of their careers, or beyond, to make a difference in the lives of those following in their footsteps.
Both ’02 marketing graduates of Clemson University, Alan and Marianna are successful 40-something marketing executives who decided to stay connected to their alma mater and they’re doing it in a multitude of ways.
Our parents were educators and believed in giving back to their communities,” said Marianna, director of marketing for Chicken Salad Chick. “My father, Andy, was a business school graduate in ’70 and ’75 master’s in education and established a College of Education scholarship in memory of my mother, Rebecca “Lynn” Reed Demori ’73 and (master’s in education) ‘74. Suffice to say, giving back was something instilled in me early on by my parents and it was a very easy decision for Alan and I to contribute to the College’s future.”
So, it seemed only natural that the Atlanta-area couple would follow suit with givebacks to their alma mater. It started with mentoring through the college’s Tiger Ties program, speaking to classes, internships and involvement on the College’s boards. But the pair stepped up their philanthropy in 2020 by establishing the Alan and Marianna Magee Scholarship, which provides $2,000 annually to an underrepresented business student.
“There are many really talented and motivated students that may be struggling financially and we want to support them” said Alan, vice president of digital marketing and technology for Church’s Chicken. “Clemson and the business school launched us into our careers and helping a student get their career up and running seemed a natural way for us to help those following the path we took at Clemson.”
The Magees’ decision to contribute financially now, versus later in their careers or at retirement was motivated, in part, by inspiring others to do the same.
“We wanted to give back more and with the scholarship, we were able to do so with an entry-level contribution,” Marianna said. “We have the wherewithal to do so now and figured why wait? It’s important for younger alums to give back because it shows Clemson’s great support system.”
Added Alan: “When a student sees someone giving of their time and/or money at a younger age, it sets an example, for say, a junior or senior who may think about doing the same thing for the next generation. One of the legacies Marianna and I want to leave is that you don’t have to wait to retire to give back and that there are so many ways one can support the next generation of Clemson-educated business leaders.”
The University’s investment in the College’s new building and Dean Wendy York’s vision for the College have sold Alan and Marianna on what the future holds for business education at Clemson. Their belief in the College’s direction led them to contribute $50,000 to construction of the 176,000-square-foot Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business building.
“There are so many more opportunities for business students to experience today, versus 20 years ago. From entrepreneurship, leadership to digital branding and beyond,” Alan said. “Business education at Clemson is preparing students for 21st century leadership. We are proud to be part of supporting what will be a bright future for those pursuing business careers at Clemson.”
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