Tony Magee '96 overcame crushing childhood poverty and now devotes his life to helping others achieve the life of their dreams. Since becoming the first African American man to earn a Master's Degree in Materials Sciences and Engineering from Lehigh in 1996, Magee has built an impressive career as a professional and personal development consultant, teacher, motivational speaker, and author. His most recent tool for self-mentoring, Can't Shove a Great Life into a Small Dream, is a down-to-earth, how-to book on making the minor changes that result in major life accomplishments.

When you ask Magee what inspired him to write this book, the alum points to his childhood. "I was born to a single mom caring for two teenage kids," Magee says. "My mother had to drop out of high school in the eleventh grade due to certain hardships. She raised us amid the poverty and violence at the hardened Nickerson Gardens Housing Projects in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. My mother told me that I might've been born into poverty, but poverty was not born in me. At an early age, she convinced me that it was possible to obtain anything my eyes could see. She said, "Son, all it takes is hope and a good plan." All I ever wanted was a better life than the one I had inherited."

The founder and president of PlatinumStarTM Performance Systems, a professional and personal development firm, Magee emerged from a non-privileged childhood to not only survive, but to contribute to the inspirational wellness of others. There has been nothing small about Magee's dreams or accomplishments. Writing Can't Shove a Great Life into a Small Dream was the culmination of a life bursting with many of the measures of personal success.

After earning his Master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Lehigh he went on to earn his MBA from Pepperdine University, and completed Executive MBA studies at Oxford University in England. His academic tenacity and accomplishments, combined with campus leadership opportunities as a member of the Lehigh Greek community, provided the cornerstone for Magee to build a contributing future.

Magee's personal efforts and commitment to excellence, and to a greater extent his mentoring of others, has not gone unnoticed. He's been accepted as a professional member of The New Leaders of Greater Los Angeles and The National Speakers Association. One of his clients, corporate giant Boeing, awarded Magee the 1999 Boeing Customer Satisfaction Award and the 1998 Boeing Good Citizen Awards of Merit. Magee and his wife, Aloria, reside in West Hills, California with their four children.

Los Angeles, CA
M.S. Material Science and Engineering