AEB Profile Maxson
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Graduation Date



I was a history major and music minor

Where are you from?


Where do you currently live?

Mentor, I currently live there too.

3 words to describe yourself?

Energetic, serious and dedicated. I am certainly dedicated: I visited campus last Sunday to work in the Pendleton, Bonney Castle and Writing House gardens. I worked in the Hiram gardens as a student in the 80s and I am still coming back, 30 years later.

What is the most interesting thing about you?

I have visited England nine times. I went on Hiram’s Cambridge trip for an entire quarter, there was so much to see that it pushed me to return again and again. I felt better with this because I know that it is impossible to see it all at once.

How did you find Hiram?

My brother, Dan Maxson of ‘79 went to Hiram so this was a no-brainer. He was the first in my family to go to college.  Mr. Coogan Reese of ‘49, a counselor at Mentor High School, took a group of students to visit Hiram’s campus.

What clubs were you involved in?

I was on the soccer team, swim team, track and in the Hiram Club. I played the saxophone in the symphony and my guitar in the jazz band. We did not have a guitar program in Hiram so I played the saxophone as my main instrument for my music minor. I was a member of Kappa Sigma Phi.

I also worked two student jobs; I vacuumed the pool on campus and worked three days a week in the gardens.

Your favorite Hiram traditions?

In Kappa Sigma Phi, we had a big winter event called the dabowery. It was a talent show and dance on the second floor of the Kennedy Center.

Favorite professor?

Professor Layton and Professor Hoffman. Every quarter, I was sure to take a class with one or both of them. In history I studied English history.

What is your favorite location on campus?

I don’ have just one but even back then, I loved walking around a lot and still do when I visit today.

What is your favorite Hiram memory?

The Cambridge Trip. Leg by the amazing Professor Wilson Hoffman and with Professor Sandy Parker, we stayed near Cambridge University and had history and English literature classes. We would study Shakespeare for two weeks and then went to Stratford. After studying Dickens, we went to London and it is surprising what is still there today.

What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?

How to get along with others.

Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?

Yes, I ended up being a history teacher. Just from watching my professors in class, they taught me how to present and handle materials. My experience was very academically solid so I was ready as soon as I got out.

What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?

I taught at St. Stevens Catholic School in Willowick for one year. I took grad classes at night and over the summer at the same time at Cleveland State for a year.

Back then, in those days, there was an overabundance of teachers so it was hard to find a job because not many schools were hiring. For the first few summers, I would call all of the local districts to ask if there was a job opening and they soon told me to stop calling them so much.

I discovered that the pay was more to be a substitute teacher in a public school so I worked at Mentor for one year and then in Euclid as a substitute teacher. Next, I was hired by Parma where I have worked for thirty years now.

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

I am in four different bands. I play in the Lakeland Jazz eighteen-piece band, a David Bowie Tribute Band, a 50s Bel Airs band (we play for old car shows) and then some theatre work around town.

What brought you back to Hiram and why the Alumni Executive Board (AEB)?

My brother was a member. I used to go to volunteer weekends, did community outreach, homecoming and more. I wanted to do something for the college, to keep the traditions going so now it is my turn. This September will be my first full year on the Alumni Executive Board.

Anything else you would like to share?

I miss the Madrigal dinners, those were wonderful!

Walt, a kind gentleman lived behind Pendleton and allowed me to borrow pretty much whatever tools were needed to work on the gardens. He was always sure to help anybody who needed it.

I am looking forward to see if our new pep band will perform at homecoming.


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