The Leadership Center facility at Morehouse will bear Massey's name. The official naming ceremony was held last month in honor of his wife and former First Lady Shirley A. Massey.
During the naming ceremony, Massey formally presented his presidential papers to the College.
"The entire Morehouse College family is pleased and proud of this opportunity to name this cherished building and conference center in honor of President Emeritus Walter Massey and Shirley Massey," said Dr. Robert M. Franklin, the 10th president of Morehouse. "I am particularly excited because I know about the magnitude of their dedication, sacrifice and love for this school. This is a fitting honor and a wonderful reminder of the lasting legacy of my friend, fellow alumnus and mentor."
Massey preceded Franklin as the school's ninth president, serving from 1995 to 2007. Under his tenure, the college created and launched a minor in Leadership Studies and later erected the more than 70,000-square- foot facility that now houses the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership, the Emma and Joe Adams Public Service Institute, and the Division of Business and Economics. The building, which was one of the cornerstones of capital improvements made to the College under Massey's administration, opened in August 2005.
The naming ceremony held a special significance for the Massey's, as it took place on their anniversary.
In a statement, the couple remarked: "We have been fortunate to have had a wonderful life together. Morehouse has been a significant part of our lives, and for Walter it has been the most important institution in his life, from the time he arrived from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, until now as president emeritus. We are deeply honored and thrilled to have The Leadership Center and Executive Conference Center named in our honor, and it is especially gratifying that the ceremony takes place on our 43rd wedding anniversary. What could be better? Our profound thanks to the board of trustees and President Franklin."
Massey's commitment and service to education are vast. Currently, he is the president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He holds more than 30 honorary degrees from institutions that include Yale University, Northwestern University and The Ohio State University.
The Leadership Center is located at the edge of the historic West End district of Atlanta, at the corners of West End Avenue, Westview Drive and Wellborn Street. The facility provides an exciting and welcoming entrance to the Morehouse College campus. The 70,000-square-foot facility is a key landmark for the College, anchoring the south campus expansion detailed in the College's Master Plan. The facility functions as:
• A multi-use facility as the primary location for leadership training and development, as well as community service programs
• Office space for administrative and management structure in support of the mission of the Center
• An appropriate environment to promote advanced research in the area of leadership that involves faculty, students, fellow and scholars-in-residence in data collection, analysis, writing and publishing on interdisciplinary issues pertinent to the mission of the Center
• A place for training and consultation in using intensive experimental strategies, including service-learning as focal points for ongoing campus, local, state, national and international leadership development
The Executive Conference Center, which includes a pre-function area and lobby, can accommodate 300 to 500 guests. The space also can be used for formal banquets.
The Bank of America Auditorium seats 300 and is equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, including a ceiling-mounted projector and a smart podium. Meeting room areas can be partitioned for any combination up to six breakout rooms, each accommodating up to 50 people.
Both of these areas are fully equipped for professional presentations, exhibits or seminars.
As the nation's largest, private liberal arts college for men, Morehouse College was recently recognized as the number one liberal arts college in the nation by Washington Monthly; one of 45 "Best Buy" schools for 2011 by the Fiske Guide to Colleges; one of the nation's Most Grueling Colleges in 2010 by The Huffington Post; the number three HBCU in the nation for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report; and as one of American's Best Colleges for three consecutive years by Forbes magazine.
Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil and human rights non-violent leader; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care of Morehouse School of Medicine; Shelton "Spike" Lee, filmmaker and president of 40 Acres & A Mule Productions; Samuel L. Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actor; Maynard H. Jackson, founder of Jackson Securities and the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Nima A. Warfield, the first African American Rhodes Scholar from an HBCU.