Posted by Aurora University on May 12, 2011
AURORA, Ill. — Walter E. Massey, president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Aurora University at commencement exercises on May 8.
Massey was honored for his achievements of a prominent physicist, distinguished educator and tireless public servant.
Massey has been a tireless advocate for science and math learning. While at the University of Chicago, he served on the Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology and as a trustee for the Academy for Mathematics and Science Teachers, an organization that has trained more than 17,000 Chicago public school teachers in these crucial disciplines.
During this period, Massey visited Aurora as one of a group of prominent scientists who was instrumental in the establishment of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
Massey was a pioneer in K-12 math and science education. He believed that all of America’s children, including students of color and girls, should be encouraged to pursue their potential in science, technology, engineering and math-related career fields. He understood also the vital relationship between student attainment in these disciplines and competitiveness in the global economy.
In response to deficiencies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States, AU is striving to create an alternative model for how these important subjects are taught and learned in a diverse urban community. Through the AU Institute for Collaboration, the Mathematics and Science Education Center of Aurora University was established in summer 2010 as a community response to this critical issue.
The center’s programs include a proposed multi-district STEM partnership school, content-based bachelor’s and master’s degrees, professional workshops and institutes for teachers, and after-school and summer studies programs for students.