“I wanted to give back to the college for what they had done for me.” Kathryn Maegli Davis, Mount Mary College alumna, trustee
By SHANNON VENEGAS
Some Mount Mary graduates have gone on to teach. Others have travelled to foreign countries and learned new languages. Some have become novelists, while others devoted their life to volunteer work. Kathryn Maegli Davis, a Mount Mary College alumna and current member of the board of trustees, did all of these things.
Maegli Davis graduated from Mount Mary in 1971 with a degree in sociology and home economics. As a widow with a single child, Maegli Davis was one of Mount Mary’s first “returning” or “non-traditional” students.
After graduation, Maegli Davis went on to teach fashion design and home economics at Germantown High School. After 15 years of teaching, Maegli Davis resigned to devote her life to volunteer work. She served on the board of the Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin for more than 10 years. While president of this board, she established an academic excellence scholarship, an endowment and a senior service award for students.
Maegli Davis has also served at the Ronald McDonald House for 25 years, prompted by her husband who served on the board. She pitched in wherever she was needed: changing beds, doing laundry and writing thank you notes.
“It is so rewarding at the Ronald McDonald House,” she said. “You see the families coming in with children who are ill … we do everything we can to provide a ‘home away from home.’”
In November 2012, Maegli Davis received Mount Mary College’s “Partner in Philanthropy” award in conjunction with the Greater Milwaukee Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ annual National Philanthropy Day. Maegli Davis was recognized for the Kathryn Maegli Davis Endowed Scholarship she set up in 2007 at Mount Mary to benefit non-traditional returning students.
“I wanted to give back to the college for what they had done for me,” she said. “I know the importance of returning students … particularly women who are single women and who have children. I can sympathize with them and the struggle they have to go through raising a family, becoming educated and as well as sometimes working … I think every woman should be educated.”
According to Cynthia Echols, Mount Mary senior director of development, the Maegli Davis Scholarship is a competitive scholarship awarded to one or more non-traditional, returning students each year. The scholarship is typically geared toward single moms and is usually awarded to junior or senior education students, although that is not a set parameter. And because it is an endowment, the scholarship will be a permanent fixture at Mount Mary.
Maegli Davis also serves on the Mount Mary Board of trustees.
“It’s such an excellent school,” Maegli Davis said. “I would never be where I am today if it wasn’t for the love and the kindness and the encouragement from Mount Mary and all of their guidance.”
In addition to her hefty academic and service-related accomplishments, Maegli Davis has filled her life with many adventures. While working at La Femme magazine in Paris prior to attending Mount Mary, she hitchhiked through 13 countries and learned three different languages. One of her four books chronicles this great feat in her life.
Maegli Davis also designed a Fabergé egg composed of Swarovski crystal violets for the White House and was one of 50 artists represented from each state invited to present her egg to Laura Bush at the White House. Currently, Maegli Davis is transcribing 1,000 letters from a distant cousin, who served in the Civil War and was General Sherman’s favorite musician in the Civil War. The letters will be made into a book.
“She’s just a beautiful example of Mount Mary’s graduates…she just so beautifully represents the mission, the sense of service Mount Mary instills in people,” Echols said.