2024 Outstanding Alumna Named

woman sits at table holding tennis ball

The St. Mary’s Alumnae Board is thrilled to announce Jean Vaughan McGhee ’86 as the 2024 Outstanding Alumna. McGhee will receive the award and deliver remarks during St. Mary’s Alumnae Weekend on Friday, April 12.

“As all who know her can attest, Jean McGhee embodies every quality of ‘light & life’ in her professional accomplishments, her commitment to service in our community, her dedication to church and family, and her love for and support of St. Mary’s,” shared Chair of the Selection Committee Bethany Mays Owen ’93. 

McGhee and her husband Shawn own Hollywood Feed, a popular pet store chain in Memphis, TN. Under their leadership, Hollywood Feed’s retail operations have expanded to 180 stores in 19 states since 2006.

Throughout her tenure, McGhee has held multiple roles at Hollywood Feed, spearheading efforts to grow the business, including creating a line of private-label dog treats and toys. In 2021, McGhee was honored as a Super Woman in Business by the Memphis Business Journal.

McGhee is an involved community leader and committed supporter of animal rescue efforts, including the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County, Memphis Animal Services, Tunica Humane Society, and Sunny Meadows.

McGhee is also an active member of Church of the Holy Communion. She currently serves as chair of the Endowment Committee and previously served on the vestry, led multiple fundraising efforts, and mentored young congregants preparing for confirmation.

“It quickly became evident during the selection process that not only has Jean worn numerous hats in her impressive and expansive career, but she is equally committed to a life of service and freely gives her heart, time, and talents to improving the lives of those around her,” added Owen.

During her time at St. Mary’s, McGhee served as a student chaplain, helping to lead Chapel during her senior year. She was renowned for her unblemished attendance record and was recognized for nine years of perfect attendance at graduation. Dedicated to sharing news of the lives and families of her classmates, she served as class secretary for the Class of 1986 for nearly 40 years.

After graduating from St. Mary’s, McGhee attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics. At the time of her graduation, McGhee was one of just two women to receive a physics degree from Georgia Tech.

McGhee is the mother of three children, including Ellie ’18 and Carmen ’27.

Please join us in congratulating McGhee. We look forward to celebrating our deserving honoree at Alumnae Weekend in April. 

Each year, the Outstanding Alumna Award is given to an alumna who has distinguished herself through service, courage, compassion, and leadership. The Outstanding Alumna Selection Committee selects recipients by voting from a pool of candidates nominated by their peers. Each fall, St. Mary’s alumnae are invited to submit nominations for the award.