AUGUST 5, 2009

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Massey Helps Students, Remembers State Leaders

Photo of John Massey, President Feaver and Chancellor Johnson.
Banker John Massey of Durant, center, is welcomed by USAO President John Feaver, left, and Oklahoma Chancellor Glen Johnson, at the newly restored historic Jourdan House at USAO. Massey’s recent gift will establish scholarships honoring two beloved state leaders.

Remembering two leaders who left their mark on Oklahoma history – former higher education Chancellor E.T. Dunlap and former state Sen. Don Baldwin – is the heart of a new scholarship fund established at the University of Science and Arts by State Regent John Massey, a banker from Durant.

Massey has served two terms on the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, leaving his own mark on Oklahoma through his activism, philanthropy and service.

“These two men, Dunlap and Baldwin, left unmistakable impressions on me,” said John Massey, about his gift to the USAO Foundation. “Don Baldwin was a senior Senator from Anadarko when I came into the Oklahoma Senate as a freshman in 1964. He mentored me and offered friendship and insight so valuable in learning state politics.

When Massey met these two men in the 1960s, E.T. Dunlap was serving as the second chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, a policy board created by the State Legislature in 1941 to bring together Oklahoma’s state institutions. A former state representative, Dunlap also provided friendship to the young Massey.

“I owe these men a great debt of gratitude,” Massey said. “Their service to the State of Oklahoma was great, and their friendship to me was priceless.”

Massey’s $30,000 gift to the USAO Foundation will provide scholarships to students at USAO, now serving its 101st year as Oklahoma’s public liberal arts college.

“Students who receive a Dunlap Scholarship or a Baldwin Scholarship at USAO in the future should take great pride in the legacies for which their award is named,” said USAO President John Feaver. “The Dunlap and Baldwin names are synonymous with public service and state pride. Each had a unique tie to USAO, as does State Regent John Massey. This gift widens his own legacy of service to Oklahoma and its people.”

John Massey has been appointed by two governors to serve on the State Regents board. He has earned numerous state awards for leadership and service. He is chairman of the board of the First United Bank and Trust of Durant.