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Hamden Hall Country Day School
Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Growth to the James R. Maggart Scholarship Fund is Impactful to Our Mission of Excellence

In making a substantial gift in memory of Hamden Hall’s eighth head of school, Carol and Arthur Wilson explained they wanted to honor Jim Maggart’s educational legacy, which spanned more than five decades and across several time zones.

Mr. Maggart passed away Nov. 19, 2021. Jim had served for 13 years under the pines before retiring in May 2004. Upon his retirement, Jim was surprised with news that his school community had established the James R. Maggart Scholarship Fund in his honor.

Carol and Art, who are Jim’s sister and brother-in-law respectively, used a two-prong financial plan to make a $50,000 gift to the James R. Maggart Scholarship Fund. Their IRA accounts require annual distributions for tax purposes. Additionally, Art’s former company, Texas Instruments from which he is now retired, matches gifts.
“People need to be thinking about contributions in terms of the people who come behind us for the betterment of our country,” said Art from his home in Portland, Oregon.

According to Head of School Bob Izzo, Jim’s scholarship fund now stands at more than $300,000 thanks in part to the many contributions the school has received as well as a life insurance policy in which Jim named Hamden Hall a beneficiary. 

“The growth of this fund as a result of Jim’s planned giving and the Wilsons’ generous gift is incredible in terms of the impact the monies will have on the lives of our students,” said Mr. Izzo. “It’s this type of giving that ensures our continued mission of educational excellence.

Indeed – the James R. Maggart Scholarship Fund will secure educational opportunities for future female students at Hamden Hall. That Jim earmarked the funding stream named in his honor to help fund the education of young women comes as no surprise. He had a 50-year affiliation with a school for Turkish girls in Istanbul (which later merged with the all-boys school of Robert College) and at Hamden Hall, Jim coached our Girls’ Basketball team for 12 years.

Carol and Art, along with the entire Maggart family, are hopeful that this family donation along with the planned gift that Jim left Hamden Hall will encourage others to donate to this special fund. Currently, in celebration of Women’s History Month, Hamden Hall is conducting a social media campaign that pays tribute to female educators who are affiliated with the school – from current and former faculty to alumni educators. In addition, prospective donors are asked to consider a gift to the James R. Maggart Scholarship Fund because of its mission to support the education of young women.

Jim’s own tenure as an educator may stem from his mother, who taught elementary education in Idaho. Jim, Carol, and another sibling grew up on a farm that their grandfather began homesteading in 1912. The family later moved to California where Jim’s mom also secured a teaching position.

Nonetheless, Jim began his studies at Northwestern in the electrical engineering program – and not education. Stating that he was more drawn to mathematics, Jim eventually transferred to the University of California at Berkeley and obtained a position as a math and science teacher at a middle school.

That was the early 1960s. Over the course of the next five-plus decades, Jim devoted his career to teaching at and leading various educational institutions in the states and around the world. He earned his MBA at the Stanford University Graduate School. After leaving Hamden Hall in 2004, Jim joined a consulting group that worked with independent schools in the states and internationally. 

“It quickly became clear that it is much easier to offer advice to schools than actually run them,” he wrote to his high school classmates in a reunion write-up. “I was fortunate to work with several schools in Europe, Africa, China, Indonesia, and the Middle East.”

Carol revealed that Jim went to college on scholarship – yet another reason why the Maggart and Wilson families are committed to highlighting the importance of designated giving.

“This warms my heart in so many ways! What a generous gift from Carol and Art and their family,” said Jim’s daughter, Stephanie Johnson. “We all know Dad would want to support creative ways to grow endowment, especially to be able to offer scholarship opportunities.”

For Carol and Art, the meaningful gift was a way to pay tribute to Carol’s “favorite brother” who “always had a smile and a quiet demeanor. He was always there for you.”

“We just wanted to honor Jim,” the couple maintained.  

Click here to read more about Jim Maggart's legacy and to make a gift to the James R. Maggart Scholarship Fund.

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