Students who major in philosophy, or who show a serious commitment to philosophy as an academic discipline, are eligible for the Magee Scholarship. The criteria for selection are (1) academic promise and achievement in courses in philosophy; (2) a thorough grounding in the arts and sciences; and (3) personal characteristics exemplified by Professor Magee, including caring for others, concern for justice, respect for dissenting opinions, spiritual awareness, and an instinct for peacemaking.
Dr. John Magee joined the faculty of the University of Puget Sound in 1947 as a professor of philosophy and religion. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate in literature from the University of Washington, he completed a degree at Boston University School of Theology and then attended Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1950, writing a thesis on Asian religion under the directorship of Talcott Parsons. He became Chair of the Philosophy Department in 1965, and led it until his official retirement in 1982. He went on teaching in the department until his death in 1994. He wrote several books including a widely used textbook in the philosophy of religion, entitled The Religious Meaning of Being Human, and a guide to meditative Christianity, entitled Reality and Prayer. His last project, left incomplete at his death, was a book on the relation of science, philosophy, and religion.
Kathryn Rose Allan Magee was a lifelong supporter of the disadvantaged and marginalized, and a lover of nature, wildlife, and the beauty of the Northwest. From her cabin at Salmon Beach she kayaked and regularly swam in the Tacoma Narrows. With her husband, John Magee, she nurtured Puget Sound students and traveled to Vienna on the first Puget Sound Semester Abroad. She was a gifted letter writer and a sparkling conversationalist. Of her four children and five grandchildren, at least five have graduated from University of Puget Sound, one has served on the Board of Trustees, one was ASUPS Vice-President, and one was married to a much-admired professor in the chemistry department.