Maxey Fellowship Supports Graduate Student Water Resources Research

The George Burke Maxey Fellowship, or Maxey Fellowship, was established in 1988 by fourth-generation Nevadan Elizabeth “Betty” West Stout to support research in water resources by a University of Nevada graduate hydrology student. A year later, she was appointed a trustee of the DRI Foundation. Betty Stout was a paleontologist, trustee emerita of the DRI Foundation, and in 1997 she was awarded the DRI President’s Medal. Because of Betty’s significant support, the Stout Conference Center located at DRI’s Northern Nevada Science Center in Reno is named in her honor.  Betty was a friend and colleague of George Burke Maxey, a scientific trailblazer in water resources who completed his career as Executive Director of DRI’s Water Resources Center. The Maxey Fellowship Endowment, which was permanently endowed in 1993 by Betty Stout, recently received support from the Charles H. Stout Foundation, established by Betty’s late husband, Charles “Chick” Stout.

The Maxey Fellowship is a one-year award given to a current or incoming DRI graduate research assistant enrolled either in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Water Resources Management or University of Nevada, Reno Graduate Program in Hydrologic Sciences pursuing discretionary research in water resources. DRI Executive Director for Hydrologic Sciences Sean McKenna, Ph.D., was the Maxey Fellowship’s second recipient, awarded to him in 1989.

“I was fortunate to meet Betty Stout when I received my award in 1989,” said McKenna. “She was a remarkable woman who believed in the work we were doing at DRI. Because of her generosity, we have been able to provide more than 25 annual fellowships and recruit highly sought-after graduate students from UNR and UNLV to work with DRI faculty.”

Endowments like the George Burke Maxey Fellowship Endowment provide DRI funding in perpetuity. To support DRI’s George Burke Maxey Fellowship Endowment or for more information on how to make a gift to support DRI, please contact Kristin Burgarello, director of advancement, at 775.673.7386 or

sean mckenna holds maxey fellowship plaque

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Philanthropy is a multigenerational Lewis family tradition. During his childhood, Robert Lewis wanted to be a scientist. He has supported DRI for almost 15 years and was part of an instrumental group of donors that provided philanthropic support to launch the Innovative Research Program (IRP) in 2018.

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