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New scholarship to honor James and Joan Maguire, support area students

Tue, Sep 7th 2021 08:00 am
James A. and Joan E. Maguire
James A. and Joan E. Maguire

The recently established James A. and Joan E. Maguire Family Scholarship Fund will support hard-working graduating seniors of four local high schools beginning in 2022.

The scholarship fund honors two loving parents who settled in the Olean area to raise a family and instilled the values of education, hard work and generosity — demonstrated by the Maguires’ six children, Craig, Brian, Matthew, Michael, Molly and Susan (Rossman) Maguire, choosing to establish the fund in their honor at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Jim and Joan Maguire were married for 50 years. They settled in Olean with their family in 1976, where Jim had a 34-year career at Dresser-Rand.

Born in the Bronx, Jim graduated from SUNY Maritime College with a degree in marine engineering.

An avid sailor, Jim loved the sea and sailing – but he also loved the community he and his wife chose to raise their family in. He was active in the community and his church, serving on a number of boards for community organizations, including Archbishop Walsh Academy.

Born in Baltimore, MD, in a military family, Joan graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel College. After having children, she returned to school and obtained her master’s degree in special education from St. Bonaventure University.

After getting her degree, Joan went on to teach special education in the Olean, Allegany (now Allegany-Limestone) and Belfast school districts.

The couple retired to Lewes, DE, in 2010. Jim passed away in 2019. Joan now lives in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The James A. and Joan E. Maguire Family Scholarship Fund will be for graduating high school seniors from Olean High School, Allegany-Limestone Central School, Belfast Central School or  Archbishop Walsh Academy who have demonstrated hard work, potential and perseverance. The scholarship will be for students who are not necessarily at the top of their class, but have demonstrated these values. Special consideration will be given to students who have faced a learning challenge.

As a former special education teacher, that criteria is particularly fitting for Joan.

“As a teacher, I saw that everyone has gifts, even though they may face challenges,” she said.

While Craig is the only one who still lives in the area, Jim and Joan’s six children decided to establish the fund to carry on their parent’s values in the community where they lived for 30 years.

“We want to help students from our home community to receive some support in their goal of continued education,” said Molly Maguire. “We want our parents’ values of helping the economically challenged and promoting education to live on through this scholarship.” 

Matthew Maguire echoed his sister’s feelings.

“Our parents taught us the importance of both generosity and education at an early age, which we carry with us today,” he said. “It seems natural to partner with CRCF to demonstrate those values through scholarships at these schools that were most important to them.”

Donations can be made to the James A. and Joan E. Maguire Family Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, Olean, NY 14760 or online at cattfoundation.org.

Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).