Gary Maxwell will always be grateful to Chapman University for taking a chance on him. Though he had only completed less than a year and half of high school and didn’t have the best grades, Chapman accepted him on a provisional basis and gave him the opportunity to prove himself. He graduated in 1985 with a degree in business and administration and then went on to earn an MBA. Gary strongly believes that his Chapman education enabled him to create a productive life for himself. He is now a small business owner, leading a company that imports scrap polyurethane foam from Asia and then sells it to manufacturers to create the foam pads for carpeting.
Giving back to Chapman University is a priority for Gary because he knows that without his Chapman education, he wouldn’t be where he is today. He is especially passionate about supporting need-based scholarships for students who may not necessarily be academic superstars but deserve an opportunity to grow and learn at Chapman. Through his generosity, Gary is paying it forward and giving hardworking students the chance to receive a Chapman education that will help them lead productive and rewarding lives.
“There are a lot of worthwhile causes in the world and most of them are in need of immediate attention,” said Gary. “However, if we don't invest in education to help build a higher earning society able to give for generations to come, the ones in desperate need will not have the resources necessary.”
Though Gary enjoys his career, his true passion in life is volunteering and serving his community. He has been a Rotarian since 2008 and will be serving in the next term as the vice president and the district vocational service chair. In 2010, he was the chair, or "Papa Duck", for The Great Rotary Duck Race in Oregon which raised more than $340,000 to help the fight against child abuse.
Gary is particularly proud of Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary's Vocational Day that lines up more than 130 high school seniors with 40 different companies and government agencies, giving these students a glimpse into industries or vocations that interest them.
In addition to his thriving career and dedication to philanthropy and service, Gary is also an avid swimmer. He is currently training to swim from Catalina to the coast.