Alum inducted into Business Hall of Fame

The Greater Des Moines Committee has chosen Drake University President and Grinnell alum David Maxwell ’66 as a 2014 inductee into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame.

According to the group’s website, the Iowa Business Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the achievements of Iowans who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s business climate.

At Grinnell, Maxwell majored in Russian and went on receive his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Brown University. He was also a Fulbright Scholar who studied in Moscow.

Maxwell’s professional career includes teaching Russian Language and Literature for 10 years at Tufts University, where he served as Dean of Liberal Arts at Tufts for an additional eight years. He also served as President of Whitman College before coming to Drake University.

Under Maxwell’s presidency, Drake has seen an increase in endowment from $80 million to $185 million and an increase in applications for admission by 177 percent in his 15-year tenure. Maxwell has also been responsible for fundraising $190 million and launching a new campaign to raise an additional $200 million for the university.

Maxwell announced in March 2014 that he plans to retire in June of the coming year, but he plans to stay tied to the higher education community.

“If I can be a useful contributing member, like the fact that we cost too much, I’m hoping there are ways for me to stay connected,” Maxwell said.

According to Maxwell, most of the members of the Iowa Business Hall of Fame are successful CEOs who dominate in the business world, and only few come from a background in education. Despite his relatively unusual career given his induction, Maxwell appreciates the implications of his nomination.

“I like to think of this as not really personal recognition as much as a recognition of the role Drake plays in the community and the state,” Maxwell said.