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A Profile in Philanthropy: James P. Magee, ’75, Helps Make Possible “Augustine the Teacher” Sculptures

By Kate Szumanski

Through the generosity of James P. Magee, A&S, ’75, and Barry Johnson, Engineering, M.E., ‘70, and his wife, Kathie Johnson, the artistic expression of “Augustine the Teacher” has grown to include the addition of a sculpture of a third student.

The “Augustine the Teacher” display is located on the front lawn of the St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts. The new student sculpture was made possible by the generosity of Barry Johnson and his wife, Kathie. It joins the other sculptures of St. Augustine and two students that were donated by Jim Magee.

Renowned artist and sculptor Peggy Mach from Long Island, N.Y., was commissioned to sculpt the third statue, which joins the depictions of St. Augustine and two other students in conversation. It is the artist’s vision that additional statues representing young students of various genders, cultures, and races eventually will join the grouping, thereby depicting the influence of St. Augustine on the education of youth through the ages.

Magee, who earned a bachelor’s degree in general arts from the University 33 years ago, is the CEO of Shorcan Brokers Limited, in Toronto, Canada. Established in 1977, Shorcan is the first inter-dealer broker in Canada, pioneering the industry with its commitment to innovation and advancements in service, technology and education. Shorcan acts as an intermediary in the bond market and matches buyers and sellers anonymously.

For Magee, remaining connected to his alma mater and supporting its growth and ability to offer an unmatched academic experience for new generations of Villanovans is vitally important.

“Villanova is a place to come back to for grounding and friendship, to see great football, and most importantly, to see my two sons graduate, with accompanying parent pride,” Magee said. “Being a Villanovan has given me a wonderful network of friends and another community in my life filled with friends, hopes, and aspiration. My own academic experience grew after leaving Villanova, but the seed was planted on the Main Line.”

The artfulness of the “Augustine the Teacher” display is something that Magee appreciates and values. “Art is a reminder that we are seekers of the truth, and such truth is our shared mission,” as a leading Catholic and Augustinian institution of higher education, Magee explained. The display “obviously speaks to community, but also to the message of Pope Benedict’s recent encyclical, 'Spe Salvi,' in hope we are saved. Such hope can only be found when we look outside of ourselves, as Augustine is doing in Mach’s sculpture. ‘Augustine the Teacher’ is important because it is the vision of Father Kail Ellis, a man whose love for Villanova is shared through his thoughtful presentation of art.” Rev. Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A., Ph.D., is the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Learn more here.

Media Contact

Jennifer Schu

Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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