Alumnus of the Year 2020


Terry Maxwell, 2020 Alumnus of the Year

“I’ve just tried to do my part to make a small difference.”

terry maxwell

He will tell you he was lured to junior college by the promise of a new set of wheels. But after attending MDJC, Terry Maxwell had a greater treasure than that of an automobile. He had an education and a foundation that would support him in his life-long chosen career of farming. So much so, that The Mississippi Delta Community College Alumni Association has announced Maxwell as the 2020 Alumnus of the Year. The award will be presented during homecoming activities on November 7th.
 
“My dad knew better than I did, that I wasn’t prepared for a four year college. He also promised me a new car which helped me make up mind” said Maxwell.
 
Maxwell wasn’t a stranger to the MDJC campus before his enrollment there. He had attended Moorhead High School when the two educational institutions shared the same ground.
 
“I spent six years on that campus,” said Maxwell.
 
Six years well spent as he would go on to the University of Southern Mississippi with some close friends and finish his education. But it was MDJC that stood out to the Inverness resident and he has never regretted attending junior college as he met and made many lifelong friends while attending MDJC.
 
“There was a lot of familiarity with the school,” he explained. “Several of my high school instructors were also my college instructors. We used the same cafeteria, same sports fields and such.”
 
“My two years at MDJC was as good a two years as I’ve ever had in my life,” Maxwell said.
 
After graduation from USM, Terry returned to the Delta and started working on his father’s farm. In 1972, he started working for Ms. Eleanor Failing farming and stayed for 14 years. But he would eventually get back home.
 
“My dad passed away in 1986 and I came back to Hopeso Farms. I’ve been here ever since. Today, my grandson Will runs the farm and I’m more in an advisory role if you can call it that.”
 
His career success allowed him to give back to MDJC and part of his giving back has been helping the farming program at MDCC where he was taught. Alumni Association President Jonny Spivey has been grateful for Maxwell’s help both financially and physically.
 
“Terry has always been willing to help when asked,” Spivey said. “He always answers the call. His help with our farm project has been greatly needed and appreciated. Terry believes in what we are doing with the farm project and it shows by his support.”
 
Sandy Wilson, Director of Grounds at MDCC, has benefitted greatly from Maxwell’s help and input, but it was Terry’s dad, Mr. Kenneth that started the tradition.
 
“Mr. Kenneth Maxwell started helping Coach Jimmy Bellipanni the year I came to work at MDJC in 1978, so that’s how I got to know Terry, was through his dad,” Wilson said. “Mr. Kenneth was always helping us with something, cooking for the team or helping with the fields. Through the years I would eat lunch at the same place as Terry and he was always asking what he could do to help. He meant it too, because everything I ever asked for, he provided. He has been such a big help over the years. He is a great guy and I’m proud he is receiving this much deserved award.”
 
As a former student, Maxwell deeply understands the need for the ag education and experience provided by MDCC.
 
“The farm project is greatly needed for our area,” Maxwell said. “We need those graduates trained and put in the workforce.”
 
These days, Maxwell lives in Inverness with his wife of 42 years, Becky. The Maxwells have one son, two grandsons, and two great-grandsons.
 
Maxwell continues to serve the community serving on many boards and committees.
 
“I’ve just tried to do my part to make a small difference.”
 
And all it took was the promise of a new car and the actual education and experience at Mississippi Delta Community College. MDCC’s 2020 Alumnus of the Year – Terry Maxwell.

If you’d like to learn how to endow a scholarship or contribute to an existing one, please contact Jim Aycock, MDCC Foundation and Alumni, at 662.246.6274.