Drakeapedia is a wiki page about Drake University, developed by Drake students for the Drake community. The page was created by the First Year Seminar Class in the Fall of 2010. Their course, FYS022 - Drakepedia* - Building a Living Archive, was designed so the students would learn more about Drake history through the use of the library's special collections and resources, creating and using wiki technology and capturing history by conducting oral histories.


Drake University Oral Histories

David Maxwell


maxwell2010.jgp.jpgDavid Maxwell is the 12th president of Drake University. President Maxwell has served at Drake since May 15, 1999.

David Maxwell is the son of Jimmy Maxwell, a famous jazz player. While in high school, Maxwell went on a trip with his father to the Soviet Union. While there, Maxwell discovered his love of the Russian language and culture. Maxwell went to college at Grinnell College and graduated with a degree in Russian Studies in 1966. He continued his education at Brown University. There, he received his Master's and doctorate degree in Slavic languages. While at Brown University, he was a university fellow and a Fulbright Fellow. In 1991, Brown gave him a Distinguished Alumnus Citation.

After college, Maxwell taught at Tufts University as a professor in Russian Language and Literature from 1971-1989. While at Tufts, he also served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies from 1981-1989. He moved to Whitman College and served as president from 1989-1993. In 1993, Maxwell went to serve as the Director of National Foreign Language Center at Johns Hopkins University until 1999 before moving to Drake.

David Maxwell is married to Madeleine and they have two kids, Justin and Stephen. They are currently living at Drake's President's House and in the summer have a cabin in Maine.




Aaron Wies


Aaron_Wies.jpgAaron Wies was born in Omaha, Nebraska on the 23rd of October 1987. Soon after his birth Aaron moved to Grand Island, Nebraska with his family. Aaron remained in Grand Island through eighth grade. During the summer, before ninth grade, Aaron and his family moved to Waukee, Iowa. Aaron attended high school in his hometown at Waukee High School. While in school, Aaron competed in football and track. He earned first-team all-state honors in football and also excelled in track, going to the state track meet two years in a row. Aaron's athletic ability brought him to Drake University to play football and to study education.

Aaron knew that he wanted to become a teacher and also a coach from the time he began playing sports as a child. Aaron never looked back and earned a degree in secondary education in the spring of 2010. Soon after graduating Aaron began subbing for the Waukee School District. Aaron now has a part-time job as a high school history teacher and as a middle school head football coach.

In the future Aaron plans to continue teaching and coaching. He would eventually like to acquire a position as a head high school football coach or as a school's athletic director. Aaron would like to remain in the Midwest, and someday start his own family.



Thomas Westbrook



Thomas_Westbrook.jpgThomas Westbrook, Professor of Education (Leadership and Adult Development) at Drake University, had always had his sights set on teaching. After graduating High School, Tom attended a college in Tennessee with a major in mathematics in the hopes of teaching in the future. While at college, he was involved in many on campus organizations ranging from chorus to student senate. He then went on to graduate school at Southern Illinois University for higher ed student personnel administration where he met his wife. He and his wife received jobs at Simpson college where they then came to Drake University.

Westbrook started working for the University in January of 1989 and has been working there for almost 22 years now. As a professor of education, Tom teaches in many different areas such as adult learning, distance education, leadership, and training and development and is a coordinator of the graduate degree program in Adult Learning and Organizational Performance. He has been known to travel and present to colleges and other organizations on this topic.

He has also received his PhD in Leadership and Adult Development from the University of Iowa.




Gene Bryant
Linda Bryant
Diane Caldbeck
Jan Fleming
Ruth Anne Petrak
Lou Ann Simpson
Lyle Simpson
Jack Watson
Jim Wise