The Ultimate Gift

Scott Maxwell and Maury Hull
Scott Maxwell and Maury Hull

To honor a teacher who profoundly impacted his life, Scott Maxwell ’84, MS ’86 endowed a graduate fellowship in 2012. The teacher—Distinguished Professor Maury Hull, who taught in the department of mechanical and aeronautical engineering and biomedical engineering for 35 years before retiring in 2013. Hull currently directs the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory and the Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory.

Maxwell studied mechanical engineering at UC Davis and he found a personal academic coach in Professor Hull, who got him actively engaged and interested in the field.

“He had a style that attracted me: friendly and outgoing. He was enjoyable to be around,” Maxwell said. “I learned things in great detail, and became totally obsessive about every single measurement system and how it all worked.”

Maxwell lectured at Sacramento State University at Hull’s encouragement while studying for his master’s degree, and went on to pursue his doctorate in engineering and MBA at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work at MIT set him on a path from mechanical engineering to venture capital, culminating in the founding of OpenView Venture Partners in 2006.

“It’s remarkable, what a professor can do for you; it’s a sacred trust,” Maxwell said, who currently resides in Boston, Mass. “Granted, students must be ready for that kind of mentoring, but when it works, it’s truly powerful.”

“It was a major surprise,” Hull said, “and the ultimate compliment that a former student can make to a faculty member. I’m eternally grateful.”