Raised on a farm near Snyder, Maddox joined the U.S. Army after high school and spent three years as an elite Green Beret. He then worked as an oilfield truck driver before earning his electrical engineering degrees from Texas A&M and working several years in that industry. But through it all, he wanted to be a teacher, so he headed to Texas Tech for his Ph.D. in economics.
After 17 years of teaching economics at Lubbock Christian University, Maddox joined the ASU faculty in 1988 and stayed until his retirement in 2006. It was at ASU that he became known as the professor who could actually make economics fun.
“I just seemed to get along with students pretty well,” Maddox said. “Plus, if you add a little life to the classroom as opposed to just standing up there reading out of a book, and your presentation isn’t dull and dry, you engage your students.”
I just seemed to get along with students pretty well.
Maddox also showed his toughness when he was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1999, but rarely missed a class.
“When something like that happens to you,” Maddox said, “you can either give up or keep going, and I wanted to keep going. So I stayed in the classroom and did a pretty decent job, I think. I had a year of treatments, so in between classes I would just stretch out in my comfortable chair and catch a few naps.”
Also a big fan of ASU athletics, Maddox and his wife, Glenda, still regularly attend Belles basketball and softball games. They come to the games from their nearby ranch, where Maddox still runs cattle.
For his dedicated teaching career and ongoing support for ASU, the Alumni Association has named Maddox its 2018 Outstanding Retired Faculty Member.
“I am deeply honored to be selected,” Maddox said. “My wife also thinks this is absolutely great, and I have lots of family coming in for Homecoming. We’re all really excited about the alumni dinner and the parade.”