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Keeping up with Drury's Department of Communication

Dr. Maxson pulls off surprise wedding in Hawaii

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Dr. Maxson took his ukelele club to Hawaii on a detour before visiting Japan, and little to their knowledge, they attended and performed at his wedding.


DUkes, Drury’s ukulele club, traveled to Springfield’s sister city, Isesaki, Japan, in August to perform in a music festival. While en route to Japan, they stopped in Hawaii for some jam sessions, beach fun, and a tour of the birthplace of the ukulele.  Little did the students know that their Hawaiian stop would also include a wedding.

Dr. Maxson, the club’s faculty advisor, asked the students to dress up, bring their ukuleles and meet out on the beach for a photo shoot. As the photo session got underway, Professor Maxson turned to Karen Dexter, a longtime friend and DUkes manager, and asked her to marry him. The students were stunned and ecstatic.

Dr. Maxson then led the students a few yards up the beach to an awaiting wedding party which included Springfield’s Mayor Bob Stephens who performed the ceremony. The students showered the bride and groom with music and good wishes.

Syd Wade, one of the DUkes, posted on social media: “Rick and Karen just got extremely married on a beach in Hawaii and tricked us ALL into being the band. Here’s to ohana.”

Congratulations to the newlyweds and welcome to the Drury family, Karen!


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