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A new fund has been established in the name of local entrepreneur Maxine Miller, the late proprietor of the long-standing local watering hole Maxine’s Tap Room.
The fund, called the Maxine Miller Legacy Fund, is a legacy endowment created to help support students in the UA’s Gender Studies Program to help with scholarships, expenses, and more.
The fund was created through a partnership with Andrea Foren, Maxine’s grandniece, who took over the bar when she passed away, along with current Maxine’s caretaker Hannah Withers and UA Gender Studies professor Lisa Corrigan.
Corrigan approached the others about the idea as a way to honor the legacy of one of Fayetteville’s most well-known and beloved local entrepreneurs.
“I was lucky enough to meet Maxine after I first moved to Fayetteville, and it was clear that she was a pioneering businesswoman who poured herself into her namesake bar and the community that she loved,” Corrigan said. “In the nearly twenty years I have lived in Fayetteville, I have heard hundreds of stories from community members about how important Maxine was to them and how many of their favorite memories occurred at Maxine’s. Because Fayetteville loved Maxine so much, I’m delighted that this namesake endowment will carry on her legacy of generosity to all and will reflect her love of the University of Arkansas.”
Foren, who took over the bar after Maxine’s death in 2006 before turning over the day-to-day reigns of the company to Withers and her husband Ben Gitchel in 2013, said she couldn’t think of a better way to honor her great aunt’s memory.
Maxine’s Tap Room
“I am so thankful and humbled by this partnership with the Gender Studies Program at the University of Arkansas to memorialize Maxine’s legacy,” Foren said. “Maxine’s has always been more than just a great place to get a drink with friends. For 72 years, it has also been about friendship, tradition, and giving back to the community.”
Maxine Miller opened Maxine’s Taproom on March 18, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, in 1950, when she was just 24 years old.
She borrowed money to open the business from her parents, and it was so successful early on that she was able to pay back that loan within a year.
“She was so young, and there weren’t a lot of women-owned businesses back then,” Foren said. “It’s pretty crazy what she was able to do.”
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