Endowment extends teacher's reach Fund honors Naval Academy professor

December 04, 1992|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

For 25 years, Samuel P. Massie's sphere of greatest influence has been in the lives of the thousands of midshipmen he has taught at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Now, the academy's first black professor can reach students throughout Anne Arundel County thanks to an endowment established in his name to provide scholarships for women, minorities and disadvantaged students.

The Annapolis Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association announced yesterday the formation of the endowment, named in honor of the long-time chemistry teacher.

The endowment will provide $37,500 in scholarships for tuition, books and fees to students studying math, science, engineering or health care in Maryland schools.

One of those scholarships is to be named for Wesley A. Brown, who in 1949 was the first black o graduate from the Naval Academy. Another is named for Marlene C. Brown, the first black woman to teach at the academy.

"This is our way to say thank you to two men and a woman who were there when obstacles were greater than they are today," Annapolis Alderman Carl O. Snowden explained at a brief ceremony.

"We wanted to name it after people who have been not only a significant part of the Naval Academy, but in the community as a whole," added Delores (Dee Dee) Duncan-White, treasurer of the association, an organization of black Navy officers.

The first scholarships are to be awarded next spring.

Dr. Massie, 73, grew up in North Little Rock, Ark., where he graduated from high school at the age of 13. He received a bachelor's degree from the A.M.N. College of Arkansas, a master's degree from Fisk University and a doctorate from Iowa State University. He taught at a number of schools before coming to the Naval Academy in 1966.

He was "so surprised" when he heard about the endowment, Dr. Massie said. "Education is my life."

Ava Marie Howard, president of the Annapolis Chapter of the officers association, said the chapter had given small scholarships to students in the community for a number of years, but wanted to do something more significant. "We were in a position to make a difference," she said.

The scholarship named for Mr. Brown is to award up to $5,000 annually to each of four individuals who have been accepted into any four-year college or university in Maryland. Students may renew the scholarship for up to four years.

The scholarship named in honor of Marlene C. Brown is to provide up to $2,500 each to seven students accepted into Anne Arundel Community College.

The trustees of the endowment have received $10,000 toward their goal of $250,000. Most of the donations have come from NNOA Annapolis chapter members and from community groups. Howard said the trustees are about to launch a larger fund-raising effort.

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