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Drake's first lady named a 'Woman of Influence'

August 2, 2009
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Madeleine Maxwell

Drake University First Lady Madeleine Maxwell has been named to "Women of Influence: Class of 2009" by the Des Moines Business Record. She was selected for the honor because of her outstanding contributions to Drake and the community over the last 10 years.

She will be recognized along with other members of the Class of 2009 at a reception from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, at the Downtown Marriott in Des Moines. Tickets for the event are $25 each or $200 for a table of 10. Tickets may be purchased online through the Business Record's Web site.

West Des Moines City Council member Loretta J. Sieman, a Drake graduate who owns and operates LJS Consulting, will accept the award for Maxwell since she will not be able to attend the event. Sieman, a longtime friend of Maxwell's, serves on the Drake National Alumni Association Board of Directors. She was honored last year as a "Woman of Influence."

Maxwell will have an opportunity to address the audience through a video recently recorded at her summer home in Maine.
Read more about Maxwell in her "Women of Influence" profile in this week's Business Record.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Maxwell had a highly successful career as an illustrator, designer, creative director and, ultimately, as the owner of her own boutique creative firm. She came to Des Moines in 1999 when her husband, David Maxwell, was named president of Drake University.

As the University’s first lady, Maxwell works tirelessly to bring the campus and community together in as many diverse and imaginative ways as possible. She has made the president’s home a hub of Drake activity; to date, more than 10,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the community and visitors from around the world have attended events -- both large and small -- at their home.

Besides her extensive involvement in campus activities, Maxwell travels on behalf of the University to visit with alumni and friends of Drake, and to attend a variety of Drake events. She is very active in Des Moines, sharing her enthusiasm and talents with a broad range of nonprofit and community-service organizations.

In addition to Maxwell, several Drake alumni and friends are among the 10 members of the 2009 Class of "Women of Influence." They are:

  • Jacqueline Easley, a member of the Drake Board of Trustees from 1996-2008
  • Joan Behrendt Middleton, a Drake graduate who endowed Drake's Urban Education Program and Middleton Center for Children's Rights along with her late husband, Lyle, also a Drake graduate
  • Susan Noland, a Drake graduate who played a key role in organizing her 25th class reunion
  • Judy Winkelpleck, co-founder of Drake’s RaySociety for lifelong learning