Emeritus Professor Maxwell named Volunteer of the Year

Ithaca's Tompkins Trust Company honored Emeritus Professor William "Max" Maxwell for his many community volunteer activities with organizations such as the YMCA, the Alex Haley Pool, the American Red Cross and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

In a May 20 ceremony, the Tompkins Trust Company honored William Maxwell, Andrew Schultz Jr. Professor of Industrial Engineering (Emeritus), for his volunteer work in Ithaca. Maxwell and other honorees were awarded $1,500 each through the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County, in a program that was established by the Trust Company in 1986 to recognize community members who have helped enrich the quality of life in Tompkins County, which includes Ithaca and most of Cornell. Maxwell requested that his award be shared by the local organizations that he serves.

Many of Maxwell's activities in the community relate to aquatics. He is a volunteer supervisor and lifeguard at the Alex Haley Pool, a downtown community outdoor pool that is open for a longer season than most of the other public swimming facilities in the area partly through the efforts of volunteers. In other seasons he is a lifeguard, swim instructor and coach at the Ithaca YMCA, where he has been on the Board of Directors and then the Board of Trustees since 1997. He is also a volunteer aquatic coach for the Special Olympics. In addition to his aquatic activities, he is a fund raiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a volunteer for the American Red Cross food pantry, and last year was elected to the Board of Directors of the Red Cross.

Maxwell joined the Cornell faculty in 1961 and retired in 1998. At the time of his retirement his friends, colleagues and former students established the William L. Maxwell Fund in his honor. The purpose of the fund is to "finance activities that give undergraduate and Master of Engineering students in ORIE more opportunities for real-world, course related learning and class projects, as well as to foster industrial interaction and cooperation with faculty and students."

Maxwell was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1998 and is a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. His research has been focussed on real time production planning and scheduling issues, computer simulation, and computer languages. He was co-developer of early instructional and list-based computer languages used at Cornell in the 1960s and is coauthor of the seminal "Theory of Scheduling" published by Addison-Wesley in 1967 and still in print as a Dover paperback. He remains professionally active as a part time consultant to Supply Chain Consultants in Wilmington DE. 

Also honored at the May 20 ceremony was Cornell employee Mary Opperman, currently Vice President for Human Resources.


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