Peter M. Magolda, Professor Emeritus, Miami University of Ohio
(September 2, 1956 – January 2, 2019)
Peter passed away suddenly with his wife of 33 years, Marcia Baxter Magolda, by his side at their home in Elliston, VA. Peter and Marcia have enjoyed their retirement in southwest Virginia after teaching for 30+ years at Miami University of Ohio. During his retirement, Peter devoted significant time to his many passions and interests—music, photography, bird watching, politics, travel, and spending quality time with family and friends. He volunteered as a photographer and worked on political issues for Blacksburg’s AARP. His own love for learning encouraged him to become a student in Virginia Tech’s Lifelong Learning Institute.
Prior to retirement, Peter taught qualitative research and student cultures. His books addressed campus custodian cultures, student cultures, and contested issues in student affairs. Peter completed the latest version, second edition, of Contested Issues in Troubled Times just prior to his passing. The centerpiece of Peter’s life was his teaching—as a way to encourage students to commit to lives of curiosity and engagement with their communities.
Peter was humble and unassuming, yet bigger than life. He made space for everyone, and he made you feel as if you were the only one who mattered. His good-will, friendly nature and kind spirit made all who met him friends, and he spent his life in service to others. He had a curiosity about people from all walks of life, loved unconditionally, and showed care, concern and compassion for all. He was a rock on whom so many drew strength, so generous with his time, and always good company.
He is survived by his wife, brother, Charles of Roanoke, VA (Roseann); his sister Ann Della Porta of Philadelphia, PA; and his sister-in-law Ardath Sunderland (David) of Elida, Ohio. He is also survived by his eight nieces and nephews: Cara Tucker (Matt); Luke; Matthew (Jamie); Melissa Cappelletti (Israel); Marie; and Peter, David and Stephanie Della Porta. His parents, Charles and Ann Magolda, preceded him in death.
In honor of Peter’s work, the Peter M. Magolda Custodian Emergency Fund at Miami University of Ohio has been established. Contributions may be made via Miami University Foundation, 725 East Chestnut Street, Oxford, OH 45056. If you prefer to give electronically, go to http://giftplanning.miamioh.edu/, and designate Peter’s memorial fund specifically.