On the Spot: Madeleine (Maddy) Maxwell

Maddy MaxwellWe gave Drake students, alumni, and community members the opportunity to ask Maddy Maxwell, spouse of the president, just about anything. Here’s what they were eager to know about Drake’s tireless first lady:

Leslie Schrader Caraballo, JO’82: How is being a female undergrad today different from when you were in college?

Maxwell: I wasn’t a typical female undergrad inasmuch as I was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design being artsy, individual, discussing the meaning of the color yellow or protesting what was going on in the South, breaking down barriers, aiming for truth, helping humankind, and bucking the establishment. We were not as focused on career then. We were interested in learning how to think critically and innovatively and never sell out. We were finding our passions and learning how to be aware to make the world a better place—Drake students are doing this, too!

Sara Robby, LA’83: What is your favorite part about being in the Drake community?

Maxwell: Getting to know students as they follow their dreams, then hearing about them later on or visiting with them at reunions. It always seems as if they’ve skyrocketed into being successful adults.

Hope Rowold Johnson, JO’94, AS’94: What is your favorite color?

Maxwell: I’ve been an illustrator, a designer, and a creative director. It’s impossible for me to choose one color over another—it depends on the season or the setting. On an early spring day there is nothing more beautiful than the yellow of a daffodil against the snow and dark earth, or the orange flame of a blazing fire on a jet-black night, or the sky-blue-pink of a sunset. Black? White? I love those, too. Absence of color; fully saturated color—I could go on all day.

Stephanie Esker, Class of 2014: What about Drake has affected your personal life the most?

Maxwell: At Drake it’s not a what; it’s a who—and that is the people who comprise the Drake community. If it has to be a what, it would be the great work ethic.

Joey Gale, Class of 2015: What is the secret behind those delicious whoopie pies you bake?

Maxwell: Yummy ingredients that you won’t see in any health food store except for chocolate, which is now deemed good for you.

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