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The WSU Community Involvement Center started the Adrian Maxson Day of Service three years ago. The day is used to honor the life of Adrian Maxson, an early-college student who was attending both the DaVinci Academy and WSU when he was killed in an auto-pedestrian accident after leaving a benefit concert for Amnesty International at WSU’s University Village. Maxson was interested in social justice, humanitarian issues and art.
“Adrian was a humanitarian,” said Brenda Kowalewski, a co-director for the Community Involvement Center. “He did amazing things in the community and was killed very suddenly, and we wanted to honor him.”
Each year, the Adrian Maxson Day of Service has been held at the Ogden Nature Center as a nod to Maxson and his passions in life, and employs student volunteers to clean up the grounds and maintain the buildings.
“It relates to him personally because Adrian was really involved in art and in the love of the outdoors, and so we’ve really tried to incorporate art and the love of the outdoors into this day in honor of him,” said Mike Moon, the assistant director in the Community Involvement Center.
Moon oversaw the volunteers and the service they did, collaborating with the Ogden Nature Center staff members and asking them what needed to be done. The around-600 volunteers spent the day cleaning the pond, staining the education building to treat rare wood, picking up garbage, weed-eating and staining picnic tables.
“I think this is a great opportunity for students to serve along with potential future Weber State students,” Moon said. “So we’re hoping Adrian Maxson Day really grows on Weber State’s campus and that it really becomes a part of the culture.”
Between 11 a.m. and noon, the volunteers and faculty gathered near the visitor center for lunch. One of these volunteers, WSU freshman Justin Christensen, came to the center for a class, but said he also enjoyed volunteering.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity to come out and have fun,” Christensen said. “We don’t get an opportunity like this to come out all day and serve.”
Christensen spent the day helping with weed-eating on the grounds and was given the opportunity to lead a group of students from the DaVinci Academy.
“It feels like we haven’t gotten too many things done,” he said. “But really, we’ve knocked a lot out.”
Jenny Frame, the volunteer coordinator at the Ogden Nature Center, said the center has benefited greatly from the volunteers’ work.
“They’ve been great!” Frame said. “This has been our most successful year. All the students have been really eager to help out.”