Massie House

Geoffroy Hall

Floor Plans

Rooms 4211-4249

House Details

Floor #: 4 West
Gender: Female
Capacity: 55
Room #s: 4211-4249
A/C: Yes
Bed Type: Lofted
Floor Type: Solid Surface
Room Types: Double
Room Size: 11' 3" x 16' 2"
Window Size: 4' wide x 5' tall
Ceiling Height: 9'

House History

Samuel Massie, a native of Arkansas and graduate of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Fisk University, received his Ph.D in chemistry from Iowa State University. Massie is one of the most distinguished organic chemists and chemistry educators in the United States. In his long career as an educator, Massie has taught at several historically black colleges, including Fisk University. In 1966 he became the first African-American professor at the prestigious Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he taught for more than 25 years. Massie also served as chair of the chemistry department from 1977 to 1981, becoming the academy's first black department chair.

Dr. Massie was named to the Manhattan Project Research Group of Iowa State professor Henry Gilman. He held a variety of teaching positions at Fisk University (where he was later named Dept. chair), Langston University, Howard University, North Carolina College, and finally, the U.S. Naval Academy where he served as the first African-American Department chair of chemistry.

Few men or women of any race have attained the respect, admiration, and degree of excellence achieved by Dr. Samuel P. Massie. Because Dr. Massie's life and work pave the way for African-Americans and other minorities in education and in the sciences, DOE chose to name its Chairs of Excellence in the environmental sciences in his honor. In 1963 Massie became president of North Carolina College at Durham (now North Carolina Central University). During this time, Massie caught the attention of President Lyndon Johnson. In 1966, Johnson appointed him to a chemistry professorship at the prestigious United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Massie became the first black professor at the nearly all-white institution. Massie encountered open racism: the community of Annapolis was not ready to accept Massie and his family. Massie also had to contend with his students, many of whom had never been taught by an African American before. "When I arrived at the Academy, for the first time in many of these students' lives, the opinion of a black person was important to them."

Dr. Massie has received countless honors and awards. In 1961 the MCA named him one of the six best College Chemistry Professors in the United States. He is listed in American Men of Science, and Who's Who in America. In 1976 the Anne Arundel County (MD) Chapter of the NAACP gave him its Freedom Funds Award, and in July 1976 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity presented Dr. Massie with its highest award: The Laurel Wreath. In 1980 the National Organization of Black Professional Chemists and Chemical Engineers named him as Outstanding Professor. In 1981 his alma mater, Iowa State University, awarded him its highest alumni honor: The Distinguished Achievement Citation. Dillard University accorded him the same honor in 1981. On April 16, 1987, the same organization gave him the Henry A. Hill Award for his long and distinguished service to the field of chemistry. In September 1988 The White House Initiative honored Dr. Massie with its first Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to science, technology, and community services. In September 1989, as a graduate of two HBCU institutions, he was one of eight black Americans inducted in the National Black College Alumni Hall Of Fame in the area of Science. President Henry Ponder of Fisk University, one of his students from Langston University (Oklahoma), presented the award. That same month the Maryland Community College system recognized him for 21 years of leadership with the Maryland State Board of Community Colleges. A Massie Science Prize was established in his honor. In November 1989 he was honored by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity for 50 years of membership and leadership. He was first initiated into the Fisk Chapter (Alpha Delta) in 1939. In October 1990 the U.S. Naval Academy presented him with the prestigious Faculty Achievement Award for his service as teacher, researcher, and promoter of the Academy. In November 1994 Massie received the 1994 James Flack Norris Award of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society for distinguished achievement in teaching chemistry. On March 1, 1995, Dr. Massie's portrait was hung in the National Academy of Science gallery. In 1997, he was named to the Chemical & Engineering News Top 75 Distinguished Contributors to the Chemical Enterprise" during the 75 years of C&EN's existence.