Austin Maxwell: My son Mitch Maxwell isn’t with us anymore, but his memory lives in this new scholarship


By Austin K. Maxwell

Remarks for the Mitchell Maxwell Scholarship

I would like to (say) thank you to the board for allowing me a few minutes to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart and my wife’s heart, and that is our son Mitchell Maxwell who would be 29 years old today on July 19, 2023. Today is his 29th birthday, but in actuality it is his 10th birthday in heaven when he left us on July 4, 2013.

Mitchell Maxwell
Mitchell Maxwell

Mitchell was a proud graduate of Riverdale High School and loved his public-school experience. He loved football, he loved his friends and he loved the thought of pursuing his dream of eventually being a college football coach by being an invited walk on at Mississippi State University. Sadly, that dream died with Mitchell, but Claire and I have continued to fuel that dream for one student a year via the Mitchell Maxwell Scholarship that we established at Riverdale High School in his name and memory.


Each year one deserving senior who desires to pursue a career in teaching or coaching is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship that can be utilized towards the books and other expenses that they incur during their first semester of college. We’ve awarded this amount to over 10 different RHS students over the past 10 years as they began their journey into college. We have felt that this was an appropriate way to honor our son while also helping others that have that same passion to teach and coach our youth in the future.

On his birthday today Claire and I would like to ask the board’s permission to expand the Mitchell Maxwell Scholarship one time for the school year of 2023-2024 to include all of Rutherford County highs schools of Lavergne, Smyrna, Stewarts Creek, Eagleville, Rockvale, Blackman, Siegel, Oakland, Central, Holloway and Riverdale — total of 11 schools of $1,000 each for a total of $11,000 — to be given to the Rutherford County Schools central office, and then disbursed accordingly of $1,000 each to those schools so that one student is awarded this scholarship in April of 2024 prior to graduation. Criteria for the award (is) to be completed via a simple application turned in to the principal at the respective school, but in general the award should go to ideally a student who has a desire to go into teaching or coaching and has been a student athlete in high school and who desires to be a student athlete in college, as well.

In closing, it is the 10-year anniversary of his passing, and as we move into the 11thyear without him, Claire and I could not think of a better way to honor his memory and to help other students throughout the county by expanding this scholarship for this year’s class of 2024,11 schools with 11 seniors who can benefit from a little extra boost in honor of him as they pursue their dreams beyond our wonderful Rutherford County School system. I welcome your questions or comments regarding this and would ask for your support as a board and system as we believe this is one small way to continue to honor his memory and aspirations while helping our RCS students.


Austin K. Maxwell