Walter E. Massey, the prominent physicist and educator, has been named chair of the board of directors of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization. Poised to be the first of a new generation of extremely large telescopes, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest optical telescope in the world when it comes online in 2022. The telescope is under construction at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.
“The GMT is one of the most exciting and important scientific projects, in any field, underway,” said Dr. Massey, “and it has true potential to play a major role in developing programs and opportunities for the future of astronomical discovery. I’m excited to participate in maturing and shaping a scientific instrument of this caliber and will do everything in my power to see it through to successful discovery.”
Dr. Massey current serves as chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Earlier in his career, he was a professor of physics and director of Argonne National Laboratory at the University of Chicago, president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, and director of the National Science Foundation.
A native of Mississippi, Dr. Massey is an alumnus of Morehouse College. He earned a Ph.D. in physics at Washington University in St. Louis. He has served on the faculty at the University of Illinois and Brown University and was the provost of the University of California System.