$1 Million Gift Endows Financial Trading Room Named In His Honor
Belmont University honored legendary Nashville businessman Jack C. Massey Tues., November 1, with a special gathering in conjunction with the release of his biography, Master of the Big Board: The Life, Times and Business of Jack Massey. At a special event in the Maddox Grand Atrium celebrating Massey’s legacy as a business man and philanthropist, Massey biographer Bill Carey spoke of Massey as both kind-hearted and “tough as nails,” while Nashville businessman Clayton McWhorter described Massey as a business mentor who urged McWhorter years ago to get involved with what was then known as Belmont College. “He said, ‘Get down there an help those people’,” McWhorter recalled. “I’ve been down here helping out ever since. I’m afraid to stop!”
Massey, who would have turned 101 this year, died in 1990, but his legacy lives on in people like McWhorter, and McWhorter’s son, Stuart, and his daughter, Barbara Massey Rogers. Last year, the McWhorters provided the funding for construction of the first live financial trading room at any college or university in Tennessee. Last night, Rogers endowed the operation of the trading room in perpetuity with a $1 million gift. Interest from the endowment will fund the ongoing costs of operating the trading room, including expensive subscriptions to the Bloomberg Wall Street data service. The trading room, located on the main floor of the Jack C. Massey Business Center, will be named the Jack C. Massey Financial Information Center.
Students participating in classes and financial trading exercises in the room will monitor the stock market and other financial data on the newly named McWhorter Market Watch data wall that includes a stock ticker and 61-inch plasma screen displaying all manner of financial markets information.
Massey, (1904-1990), and his family, have collectively been one of Belmont University’s biggest benefactors. Massey was the first person in history to take three unrelated companies to the New York Stock Exchange. His importance to Belmont’s history can not be overstated as he “quite literally meant everything” to Belmont during some tough times in the 1970s and 1980s, according to current University President Dr. Bob Fisher. Massey gifts have helped Belmont establish its undergraduate and graduate business programs, built the Massey Business Center and Massey Performing Arts Center, and endowed the Chair in Entrepreneurship, the foundation of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and its fast-growing new major in entrepreneurship, which already enrolls more than 70 students in just its second year.
Massey’s business and philanthropic legacy will be commemorated with a plaque to be installed on the wall outside the Financial Information Center, while the McWhorters’ contribution will be honored with a plaque inside the room.
Tuesday night, College of Business Administration Dean Patrick Raines made brief remarks about Massey’s business legacy, his impact on Belmont University and the Nashville business community and unveiled the plaque in Massey’s honor. Both Clayton and Stuart McWhorter spoke about Massey’s role as a mentor to many in the business community, and Barbara Massey Rogers spoke about her father’s view of a legacy being not just the financial contributions you make but the people you mentor.
.Massey began his entrepreneurial career as a retail druggist in 1930 after graduating with a degree in pharmacy from the University of Florida. His business expanded into a multi-city wholesale surgical supply operation which he sold to the A.S. Aloe Division of the Brunswick Corporation in 1961. At the age of 56, he didn’t retire, but instead went on to secure a place in American business history by helping take three separate companies to the New York Stock Exchange.
Massey was a founder of the Hospital Corporation of America and served as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Executive Committee and a member of the Board of Directors. He was also the principal who purchased Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation and directed its growth to one of the world’s largest commercial marketers of prepared foods and was the founder of Winner’s Corporation.
Massey served on the boards of several corporations and was actively involved in civic and non-profit affairs. His generosity to Belmont University is evidenced in many ways, including his generous donation to help Belmont build Massey Auditorium. In 1967, he donated $250,000 – then the largest gift in Belmont’s history – toward the construction of the $1 million facility.
Massey made another substantial gift to Belmont to help build ‘a business school of national reputation’. In 1986, the university established the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business. The Massey family’s generosity helped build the Massey Business Center, which opened in 1990 and houses the university’s undergraduate and graduate business programs. The building was funded in part by two million-dollar gifts from Barbara Massey Rogers and from the Massey Charitable Trust.
Massey’s life and business successes and his legacy as a businessman, mentor and philanthropist are chronicled in the new book Master of the Big Board. Carey, the author, a Nashville business journalist, wrote the book while a “writer in residence” at Belmont over the last two years. Carey’s previous books include Fortunes, Fiddles, and Fried Chicken: A Business History of Nashville, also written while in residence at Belmont, and Chancellors, Commodores, and Coeds: A History of Vanderbilt University. Fortunes, Fiddles, and Fried Chicken was named History Book of the Year in 2000 by the Tennessee Library Association and Tennessee Historical Commission.
Top, Left to Right: Dean Patrick Raines, President Bob Fisher, Barbara Massey Rogers, Clayton McWhorter, Stuart McWhorter
Bottom, Left to Right: Dr. Jeff Corwnall, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and holder of the endowed Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship; Barbara Massey Rogers, Doyle Rogers. Click images to enlarge.