Former Trustee Bob Owens (left) presents a resolution to D.E. Magee, Jr. (right) at the 2012 Black History Month recognition ceremony in honor of the late Mrs. Magee. Photo courtesy Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
Delors Edgar Magee Jr., a Jackson ophthalmologist and former board member and president of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, died Wednesday, Sept. 27, at his family's home in New Orleans. He was 80 years old.
Magee ran a private practice for ophthalmology, or the study of the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye, in Jackson for more than 40 years.
He graduated from Coleman High School in Greenville, Miss., and went on to Central State University in Ohio, where he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics in 1959. He later earned a master's degree in biochemistry at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and then a doctorate in medicine from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., in 1968.
Magee served on the IHL board for 12 years and became the IHL board president in May 2006. His termed ended on May 7, 2008. He also served on the board of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission and was a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Jackson Ophthalmological Society, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Mississippi Humanities Council.
"(Magee) was extremely dedicated to ensuring that opportunities were available to all students and was passionate about keeping college affordable through his wise and judicial use of university resources," Bob Owens, an attorney with Owens Moss, PLLC who served on the IHL board with Magee, told the Jackson Free Press. "He took his role as a member of the board very seriously, and always demonstrated leadership and resolve. He was quiet and committed to the betterment of education for all Mississippians. He was a man with a heart of gold."
Magee and his late wife, Gwendolyn Ann Magee, were married for 42 years, and the couple had two children, Kamili Magee (Richelieu) Hemphill and Aliya Niambi Magee, and two grandchildren, Ellington and Matisse Hemphill.