It was during an interview with a prospective faculty member when Eduardo Magalhaes III discovered what students at Simpson were calling him behind his back. The candidate had met with students earlier in the day, leading up to the awkward few moments with Magalhaes.
“Well,” the candidate explained. “They call you Eddie Magic.”
“What?” was all Magalhaes could muster, confused and entertained by the odd bit of news. And, it would seem, an iconic nickname was born.
But after a short time, Magalhaes realized why students had tagged him with the unusual moniker. It was 10 years earlier, when the professor of political science was leading a May Term class, that he mentioned the nickname — and where it came from — to his students.
When Magalhaes was running for student body president in high school, he and his friends created posters to encourage classmates to vote for him. The problem? His name was way too large to fit.
“We didn’t have hallways long enough for that,” he joked. So instead, they came up with the name, and ‘Vote for Eddie Magic’ signs were posted all over the school.
For years, students throughout many different areas of study were calling him Eddie Magic — not just the students he had in class. “A number of students I had never even encountered were calling me that,” he said. “I’ve come to discover that the students thought they had created it. I shudder to think if the nickname had been something else.”
He claims there is really nothing magical about him, unless you count his ability to walk and read at the same time, which he says is the only successful multi-tasking he’s ever been able to do.
Some, however, would disagree. With everything else he has on his plate, Magalhaes still finds the time to serve as advisor to Simpson’s Model United Nations, offering students further insight into his quirkiness.
“If you ride in the van with Professor Magalhaes to St. Louis for a Model UN trip, then be ready to listen to fiction political suspense books on tape or a lot of Brazilian music,” said political science major Aaron Sewell. “Six hours. There and back.”
And as for the name, Magalhaes believes it will probably be around for the long haul.