From a Mexican orphanage to a Dallas safe haven for abused girls and young women, SMU students have spent the summer learning how one person can make an extraordinary difference to someone who needs help.
The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility awarded Maguire and Irby Family Public Service Internships to seven students for 2008, continuing a 12-year tradition that has placed more than 90 students in local, state, national and international public service jobs. The Maguire Center also supports research and teaching; organizes seminars, colloquia and workshops; and recognizes individuals for moral leadership and public virtue.
SMU trustee emeritus Cary M. Maguire, the president and chairman of Maguire Oil Company, endowed the Center in 1995 and has made similar investments in other education institutions and the Library of Congress. Adherence to value, trust and ethical accounting is not just the right thing to do, Maguire says – it also will produce the best business results.
Stuart C. Irby and his wife, Margaret, support the public service intern in the context of their interest in ethical issues and concerns about society’s moral decline. Stuart Irby is chairman of two electrical companies bearing his name. Margaret Irby attended SMU, as did two Irby grandchildren.
“I can point to individuals who have had a life-changing experience through this internship program,” says Thomas Mayo, Maguire Center director and associate professor of law. “In terms of contributing to their development as citizens of the world, I can’t think of anything more effective than challenging them to help others – whether it’s in Dallas, Austin or Colombia.”
Internship applicants are responsible for finding agencies to sponsor their projects, and interns are selected based on the ethical merit of their proposals and justice issues they will address.
As part of her internship at the Stewpot in Dallas, junior Cody Meador studied public policy related to the homeless. The political science major learned after only a few days’ work that stereotypes surrounding the homeless population make finding solutions more difficult.
“There is absolutely no substitute for being in the world rather than reading about it.”
– Thomas Mayo, director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility
“One thing Dallas City Council member Pauline Medrano said is that it’s important to understand that there are so many types of homeless people – you can’t just lump these stereotypes on them,” Meador says. “It’s just people in a situation they’re trying to get out of.”
To learn about supporting the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, please contact Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Mark Petersen at 214-768-3223 or email@example.com.