The Western New Mexico University Foundation honored alumna, professor and longtime friend Linda McGee for four decades of service by naming a study lounge in historic Light Hall after Linda and her late husband, John.
“It’s fitting that the space is for students, because the McGee’s whole relationship with the university has been about supporting students,” WNMU Foundation Director Jodi Edens-Crocker said. “Naming the lounge after them was our way of recognizing a lifetime of supporting students.”
Linda graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting in 1969 and has contributed on campus ever since. She was an accounting professor for more than 30 years, retiring ranked as a full professor in 2010 and beginning her service on the WNMU Foundation Board of Directors.
“I’m proud of my relationships with my students and so honored to see them grow into valuable members of society,” Linda said, noting that the naming of the study lounge means much to her. “I’m blown away.”
In 1982, Linda, who is a CPA and shareholder in Stone McGee & Co., began WNMU’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which allows students firsthand opportunities to hone their skills and provides community members free tax-filing services. The WNMU School of Business still offers this program today.
A staunch supporter of WNMU Athletics, Linda has traveled to cheer on Mustang baseball and softball teams, sponsored the cheerleaders, and hosted athletes for weekend dinners. “Linda and John opened their home and hearts to the WNMU community,” Edens-Crocker said.
Most recently, Linda made a major gift contribution of $100,000 to the WNMU Foundation, ensuring a continued impact on the lives of WNMU students through the John and Linda McGee Scholarship.
The WNMU Foundation views the gift as representative of the relationship Linda has always had with the university, which she credits for providing her with opportunities and for helping her toward success in her career. “Linda is a shining example of how well WNMU prepares students for meaningful careers. As a board member, she also sees that the WNMU Foundation is a good steward of donor money,” Edens-Crocker said.
Others are grasping the importance of the role foundations play for public universities, which see state funding ebb and flow and yet continue growing when provisions shrink. “The foundation creates a constant so our university can perpetually support students and programs,” Edens-Crocker said. “Donors who are making major gifts right now are doing so because they see the positive momentum of Western New Mexico University.”