The University of Texas Law School Foundation
Massey Teaching Excellence Award
John H. Massey and his wife, Elizabeth S. Massey.
In the fall of 2004, The University of Texas School of Law announced the endowment of the Massey Teaching Excellence Award by John H. Massey, J.D. ’66, and his wife, Elizabeth S. Massey, B.S. ’61. The Law School presents the award, which includes a significant stipend during each year of the two-year honor, to a faculty member who “epitomizes the School’s priority of providing the highest quality of teaching to its students.”
“We wanted to endow a teaching excellence award at the Law School as a way of recognizing the importance that great teaching had in our lives,” John Massey said. “My wife and I both received superb educations at The University of Texas. I have used ideas and principles that I learned at the Law School every day of my life, even though I’m a businessman and have never been a practicing lawyer.”
The first recipient of the award was David Rabban, a leading scholar in free speech in American history and labor law, and a member of the University’s elite Academy of Distinguished Teachers. The current award holder is Stanley Johanson, the nation’s foremost scholar on wills and estates, who is also a University Distinguished Teacher, and one of John Massey’s former professors.
John and Elizabeth Massey met in their hometown of Columbus, Texas, where they attended the same kindergarten. Both have degrees from the University of Texas and SMU. John also received his M.B.A. from Cornell University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst, as well as a member of the State Bar of Texas. The Masseys live in Dallas, where Mr. Massey has had a successful career as an investor and executive in radio, television, and the insurance business. Elizabeth Massey has long been active as a community volunteer. She recently completed nine years of service as a Trustee of Highland Park Independent School District, is the current Chair of the UT College of Education’s Advisory Council, Chair-elect of UT’s Development Board, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Chancellor’s Council for the UT System.
At the UT System, the Masseys have permanently endowed two discretionary “Excellence in Education” funds for the benefit of the Chancellor’s Office and the College of Education, two full academic scholarships for future teachers, and two additional awards for teaching excellence. One honors “those who teach people to be teachers,” reflecting Elizabeth Massey’s devotion to teachers, teaching, the University’s UTeach program, and the College of Education, where she studied from 1957 to 1961. The second recognizes teaching excellence at UT’s medical school in Galveston, from which John’s grandfather Dr. A.H. Potthast graduated with an M.D. in 1915.
At the time of the announcement of the Massey Teaching Excellence Award, John Massey said, “We would like to see these teaching excellence awards become some of the most recognized in the country. Our intention is to significantly build these endowments beyond the current commitments should we find faculty support and enthusiasm for the awards.” Three years later, and true to their word, the Masseys have added to the endowment, which now stands over $1.5 million, and is one of the most—if not the most—generous of its kind in the nation.
The Massey Teaching Excellence Award Endowment is invested in the Long Term Fund and had a market value of $1,513,694 as of August 31, 2007.