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UT News

Before Finals Frenzy, Thanksgiving with Your Professor

“I do this so students can feel the warmth of home during a holiday in which they are separated from family,” says finance professor Stephen Magee of his annual tradition.

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His culinary skills “are limited to eggs over easy and granola bars out of a package,” but that doesn’t stop finance professor Stephen Magee from hosting first-year MBA students in his home for Thanksgiving lunch every year. Many are international students experiencing their first American Thanksgiving.

Finance professor Stephen Magee with students at Thanksgiving

Magee’s fiancée handles the cooking, with help from Green Mesquite BBQ or Whole Foods. The meal always includes traditional turkey and dressing, gravy, green beans and sweet potatoes. While students feast, Magee entertains with stories from his three decades at UT.

It’s a fitting tradition for Magee, who is described by one student as someone who “In one breath [will] teach us how to calculate the profit maximizing price a firm should charge for its product, and in the next he’ll be encouraging us to be good to our families.”

Asked why he does it, Magee recalls his days as a Ph.D. student at MIT in Boston, miles away from his home in Lubbock. A fellow Texan there reached out to Magee, offering home-cooked meals, mentorship and a sense of home. “Texas is an even more remote galaxy for many of our international students,” Magee says. “I do this so students can feel the warmth of home during a holiday in which they are separated from family.”