The 100th birthday of the late Jack C. Massey, arguably the most significant businessman and entrepreneur in Nashville’s history, was celebrated last week at Belmont University, where the Graduate School of Business bears his name. The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business recently began its 16th year. In May 2004, the school awarded the MBA degree to its 1,000th graduate. As NashvillePost.com reported last week, “It was largely under Massey’s influence that Belmont has such a business program; he and several of his family members made donations that made the school possible.”
Massey, who died in 1990, would have turned 100 on September 7. He is the only American to have taken three separate companies to the New York Stock Exchange – Hospital Corporation of America, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Winner’s Corp. The original president of Nashville’s Baptist Hospital, he founded the venture capital company Massey-Burch Capital Corp., and was one of the primary owners of Nashville City Bank, which was taken over by Dominion Bankshares of Roanoke, Va., in 1986.
The School of Business celebrated Massey’s 100th birthday with a cake and small party in a lobby of the building that bears the Massey name and features a bust of the late entrepreneur. Massey’s legacy beyond the Graduate School of Business is huge, primarily due to his role in the founding of HCA, which in turn spawned hundreds of healthcare companies and established Nashville as the center of the for-profit healthcare industry. The Nashville Health Care Council estimates there are 300 health care companies in Nashville that operate on a multi-state level or larger, operating a total of 2,400 facilities outside of Nashville and employing 86,000 people in the Nashville region and 310,000 people outside of Nashville, according to NashvillePost.com.