On Saturday, May 7, former Frankfort resident Maxwell “Max” Webster graduated from Husson University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing management. His grade point average of 3.992 placed him as one of the university’s four salutatorians from the class of 2022.

Webster, 21, graduated from Searsport District High School in 2019 — and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in just three years. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the second semester of his first year at Husson. He said it forced students to “find new ways to connect.”

“It made us take a step back,” he explained. He credits the advisers and professors at Husson for re-engineering the semester to be an experience similar to in-person learning and for doing a “great job staying positive.”

As a junior in high school, Webster worked at the Belfast Dairy Queen. The “networking and communication” opportunities that the job afforded recently led him to a position as central manager at the Dairy Queen in Woolwich, close to where he now lives in Brunswick. “This job showcases what I learned (from both Husson and SDHS), and when you work hard, anything is possible,” he said.

Asked for his advice to Waldo County students, Webster pointed to the importance of “taking advantage of opportunities.” Whether it is through local scholarships, networking and communicating with others, or being a self-advocate, the Husson graduate said it’s important to open doors for yourself.

“Waldo County, even though it’s a small community,” still gives students plenty of experiences, he said. “When you’re passionate and communicative, opportunities arise.”

Webster acknowledged that many students may feel like their opportunities are limited in a small community, but he credits his success to being a self-starter. “Throughout my time (at SDHS), I was a Mitchell Ambassador and Marketing Club president,” he said. He wants to ensure that students don’t give up on a possibility “just because it’s small. There’s still opportunity.”

Webster also urges local students to apply for scholarships — especially the Mitchell Institute scholarship, which he said is “so much more” than “just money,” helping students “make connections” with individuals who can help them in their academics and future endeavors.

He acknowledged that college helps open doors for a lot of students, something high schoolers should keep in mind. Webster credits Husson for “shaping and shifting my mindset” to focus on his passions. “When you find people that have similar mindsets, it’s incredible,” he said. He encourages students to always advocate for themselves and their opportunities.

“When you set your mind to something, anything is possible,” the Husson salutatorian said. “Take initiative, be accountable and present for yourself.” Those are some of Max Webster’s keys to success.