Walter Eugene Massey Endowed Chair of Physical Science established with help from Mellon Foundation.
Morehouse College’s ninth President, Walter E. Massey ’58, has become the first Morehouse President and living alumnus to have an endowed chair named in his honor.
With assistance from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the College has established the Walter Eugene Massey Endowed Chair of Physical Science, President David A. Thomas announced during the College’s 2018 Commencement ceremony.
The Mellon Foundation provided $500,000 for the chair.
“The gift established an endowed professorship in honor of the contributions and achievements of our ninth President, Dr. Walter E. Massey, as he retired from the Mellon Board in 2016,” Thomas said. “As part of the challenge, the College needed to raise $1 million to fully endow a professorship for Dr. Massey. I am pleased to announce that Morehouse College completed the funding challenge.”
Massey served as President of Morehouse from 1995 to 2007. He led The Campaign for a New Century, the College’s most ambitious fund-raising effort, which raised $118 million to build what he called an “academic village” environment at Morehouse. Along with campus improvements, including the construction of the Davidson House Center for Excellence, the John H. Hopps Technology Tower, and what is now the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center building, Morehouse had two Rhodes Scholars during Massey’s tenure and was named by “Black Enterprise” magazine as the top college in the nation for educating African American students.
The first professor to hold the chair will be Juana Mendenhall, Ph.D., an associate professor of chemistry at Morehouse.
Dr. Mendenhall leads the Smart Therapeutic Biomaterials Research Lab where her current research focuses on osteochondral tissue engineering tailored toward osteoarthritis pathology. Her research is aimed at constructing thermo-responsive, antioxidant, injectable, hybrid gels that will replace existing treatment options and reduce reactive oxygen species by blocking the inflammatory response affiliated with osteoarthritis.
Mendenhall, who holds two patents for her innovative work, delivered a TEDx Talk last fall on her groundbreaking research and her invention of a non-surgical way to repair worn knee cartilage.