Margaret E. (Maggie) Weston (MPP ’08) passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on July 24, 2014 at 32 years of age. A new endowed fund, established by Maggie’s parents Lawrence and Kathryn Weston, will benefit future Ford School students who share their daughter’s passion for education policy.
At the time of her death, Maggie was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where colleagues described her as “an accomplished educator and policy researcher with boundless potential.” Fiercely committed to advancing public education on both policy and personal levels, she specialized in education finance policy and served as a founding board member of a community charter school in Sacramento, California.
Maggie came to the Ford School in 2006 to pursue a master’s degree in public policy after serving as a Teach for America Fellow in Baltimore, Maryland. While completing her fellowship, she had earned her master’s degree in secondary education from Johns Hopkins University, but hoped to find more systemic ways to address educational disparities through policy. While working for the Public Policy Institute of California, Maggie was also completing a PhD in school organization and education policy at the University of California, Davis, and was expected to graduate in the spring of 2015.
“She was one of the best master’s students I’ve had the pleasure to teach,” says Brian Jacob, the Annenberg Professor of Education at the Ford School. “She brought a critical, and sometimes even skeptical, eye to the evaluation of policies, but was always optimistic about the power of research to improve the world.”
The Margaret E. Weston Endowment for Education Policy will be a lasting tribute to Maggie, supporting young men and women with a deep commitment to the same kinds of educational equity issues Maggie championed so well, and so passionately, in her lifetime. The endowment will be managed for long-term growth. Annual proceeds will support an internship stipend for competitively-selected graduate students serving public sector education policy organizations and a scholarship award for Teach for America alumni pursuing their master’s degree in public policy at the Ford School.
For more information about the Margaret E. Weston Endowment for Education Policy, contact Sue Johnson (suejohn [at] umich.edu).