In Loving Memory of Maxine Shelly Turner

Her Life | Her Contributions to AΩE | Memorial Scholarship Info

Her Life

Maxine Shelly Turner, or “Max” to her friends and family, was an honors student from Vienna, Va., set to graduate with a degree in chemical engineering in spring 2007. She was brilliant, beautiful, and extraordinarily talented, although she would have denied all of the above. She excelled at everything she committed herself to, including swing dancing, Tae Kwon Do, schoolwork, violin, or just her favorite video game: Zelda. She made it all look easy.

Like anyone else, she had her quirks such as her tendency to talk to herself while playing video games, stick her tongue out for photographs, and sprawl on the living room floor in random positions and sing aloud while doing homework with her head phones on. Any given day, Max could be found in her pajamas and bunny slippers, sitting on the living room floor watching cartoons and doing chemical engineering work. She discovered, much to her delight, that Spongebob is on almost 24 hours a day. These endearing traits are undeniably a large part of what made Max so loveably Max.

But don’t let her light-hearted outlook on life mislead you; she was also incredibly motivated and ambitious. During her time here at Virginia Tech, she helped found a chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon. One of 12 founding members, Max believed in the importance of having a professional sorority for female engineers at a school known for its excellent engineering programs. She was very active within the sorority, holding such offices as community outreach chair and professional life chair.

She was in the Hypatia class that encouraged the university to expand Hypatia from a one-year to a two-year program. She contributed to the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg community by volunteering for the Relay for Life, the Big Event, and the animal shelter.

Definitely a family-oriented person, Max loved her family very much. She was famous for being one of those rare college students who actually talked to her parents practically every day and enjoyed it! She would regale her friends with tales of her younger brother, Anthony, and his many accomplishments in his academics, violin competitions, and soccer tournaments.

Maxine was fiercely independent and from the age of 15 worked to earn her own money. She was determined to help with all of her expenses: living, university, and otherwise.

Everyone who knew her will miss her greatly, but sadder still is the fact that those who didn’t know her will never have the pleasure. She was truly an exceptional person.

Her Contributions To A.O.E

Max always wanted to help other people. It was her reason for being a founding member of an engineering sorority. She wanted to give women in engineering an everlasting support group, one that would involve its members in community service and professionalism. When we created our AΩE chapter, we based it on a set of ideals and beliefs that we all shared. Max was truly the embodiment of those beliefs.

From the humble beginnings of our chapter, Max was always there. When we thought up this idea to start up an engineering sorority, Max was one of the first to get in line at the Greek Life office to fill out the paper work. Max was optimistic towards the idea despite the ups and downs we faced prior to becoming a real interest group. It is that spirit and determination that we needed to get the sorority off the ground.

When we officially became an interest group, Max was elected the Community Outreach Chair, a position that she embraced enthusiastically. She immediately got us involved with Relay for Life and volunteering at the animal shelter. During our colony period, she routinely put in extra hours for the sorority for anything that required extra help, whether it was recruitment or writing bylaws. In the spring, she signed us up to give back to the Blacksburg community.

During Max’s senior year, she served as our Professional Life Officer. She sent us regular email reminders to succeed academically and professionally, for example, when sign up for classes and when to dress professionally. She arranged for our group to learn dining etiquette, forwarded us information about resume workshops, and organized mock interview sessions and our meeting with businesses in Roanoke. Max prepared and gave us a presentation on Robert’s Rules of Order.

Beyond her leadership positions, she was a loving sister to all. She attended philanthropy events regularly and always baked cookies for our bake sales. Her infectous smile could always lighten the mood, and she looked forward to participating on the alumna level.

While Max is no longer physically with us, her spirit and enthusiasm will continue to guide the sorority for years to come.

Maxine S. Turner Memorial Scholarship Information

Contributions to the Maxine S. Turner Memorial Scholarship may be made payable to “Alpha Omega Epsilon National Foundation, Inc.” and sent to:

A.O.E. National Foundation
PO Box 9783
Alexandria, VA 22304
or can be made online here. Please indicate that the donation is for the Maxine Turner Fund. Donations will be accepted every April.