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Former SAIC President To Pen Memoir About Years As Bank Of America Chairman

Walter E. Massey, former chairman of Bank of America, will publish his memoir, In the Eye of the Storm: My Year as Chairman of Bank of America During the Country's Worst Financial Crisis, with Beckham Publications, the house announced. Release is set for spring 2020.

"Massey's memoir will offer an insider's gaze at events and people that never before have been revealed publicly," says publisher Barry Beckham. "He starts with his shock and surprise after learning that the board had chosen him, and it's nonstop from there."


Beckham says that although this memoir will focus on Massey's time with Bank of America, it will incorporate relevant details of his early life in Mississippi and other professional activities.

Massey's breadth of accomplishments includes president of Morehouse College, director of the National Science Foundation, director of Argonne National Laboratory, and provost of the University of California state system. He retired just a few years ago as president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and more than 40 higher education institutions have awarded him honorary degrees.

Beckham promises that Massey has more than one memoir to write. "But we think that his years at Bank of America are more important now, before he fixes his view on the world of science and higher education," says Beckham.

Massey, chairman of Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, was awarded the Vannevar Bush Award in April for his exceptional leadership in science and technology.

Beckham and Massey met in 1970 when both joined the faculty at Brown University. Massey, born and raised in segregated Hattiesburg, Mississippi, became Brown's first black physics professor and later dean of the college. Beckham was director of the graduate writing program and head of the Sankore Society, the organization of black faculty and administrators.

Beckham Publications has created a YouTube channel featuring excerpts of Massey's first chapter.

"Discussing the first stage gives readers a side-by-side view of how the book is progressing," says Beckham.

The publisher plans a meet-and-greet with Massey at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, 2019 and to begin a nationwide book tour in Chicago in April, 2020.

Assisting Massey is novelist Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont, executive editor of The Network Journal and CEO/Publisher of

Her published work includes Africa Strictly Business: The Steady March to Prosperity and novels The Guyana Contract and Middle Ground. DreamGalaxy has acquired the film rights for Middle Ground.

Ruth Simmons, president of Texas-based Prairie View A&M University, will contribute the foreword.


Via Wikipedia:

"Born on April 5, 1938 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Massey displayed a gift for mathematics as a child, and by the middle of high school his academic achievements had earned him a Ford Foundation fellowship to Morehouse College in Atlanta.

"There, he began studying theoretical physics, which he chose in part because it gave him the chance to rise above the discrimination he had witnessed as a youth in the segregated South of the 1940s and 1950s. Massey graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958 . . .

"While finishing his doctoral studies, Massey began working in 1966 as a member of the research staff at Argonne National Laboratory, which is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of Chicago.

"Massey's work at Argonne focused on the study of the many-body theory of liquids and solids, which attempts to explain the properties of systems of interacting particles in various states. He also continued his own research, applying correlated basic functions to both liquid and solid helium. Two years later, Massey accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Illinois.

"While continuing to pursue his own research, Massey's tenure at the University of Illinois was also defined by his commitment to achieving racial and social equality as well as to improving access to science and technology education.

"On his first night on campus, 264 black students who had protested racial discrimination at the university were arrested. This incident led him to become advisor to the Black Students Association and first chairman of the Black Faculty and Staff Association.

"In his teaching, meanwhile, Massey found that many of his black students lacked the preparation in mathematics and the sciences necessary for success at the college level. This led to his interest in and commitment to the improvement of science teaching in high schools.

"In 1970, Massey was offered an associate professorship at Brown University, which he accepted and would soon after complete some of his most significant academic research to date, collaborating with Humphrey Maris on the study of changes in sound waves in superfluid helium. By 1975, he had been appointed a full professor and dean of the college

"Also at Brown, Massey continued his efforts to support diversity in the sciences, developing and directing the Inner City Teachers of Science (INCTOS) program, through which Brown undergraduates studying to become science teachers served as mentors and tutors in urban high school science classes. The impact of this program earned Massey the distinguished service citation of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1975.

"In 1979, Massey's demonstrated success as a researcher and administrator at Brown led to his return to Argonne National Laboratory, this time as its director, in addition to which he was also appointed professor of physics at the University of Chicago."


Walter Massey Reflects On How LIGO Nearly Didn't Get Built.


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 5, 2019

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