Rufus Massey retires after a 25-year career at Berry

Joseph Miller, Reporter

Ben Lord, Editor

Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

Rufus Massey, pioneer of Krannert Center Activities Board (KCAB) and dean of student work, will retire on June 30 at the end of a 25-year career.

Massey attended Berry as a student from 1971 to 1975, graduating with a degree in biology and chemistry. Soon after his graduation, Massey returned to Berry to serve as the director of student activities and created KCAB. Since then, over 25 years of his career have been spent at Berry, where he has served in numerous roles.

“We used to drive by here on the way to my grandmother’s in Atlanta, and I saw the Ford buildings from the highway,” Massey said. “I learned that was a college, and I thought, ‘well if I gotta go to college, might as well go to that one.’”

In 2003, Massey began his role as an officer for the corporate and foundation department at Beery, and helped the college raise over $100 million. Massey continued to work with alumni relations until 2008, when he and President Steve Briggs first came up with the idea for student-run businesses on campus. Massey was tasked with making the vision a reality. He worked with a team of students to create the Berry Student Enterprise Program, a collective of student-operated businesses. During the past 10 years since its formation, the program has grossed over $3 million in revenue and employed over 700 students.

Propelled by the success of the Student Enterprise Program, Massey became the dean of student work in 2010. In this role, Massey worked alongside Briggs to transform Berry’s student work program. This transformation included the establishment of the student work level system, which allows students to incrementally take on more responsibility and earn a larger wage as their skillset grows. Massey also had a hand in creating the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program.

“He’s a man that’s always on the go, kind of like the Energizer bunny,” Student Activities Director Cecily Crow said.

Although he will be stepping down from his role as dean of student work, Massey will continue to work with Berry’s advancement department on a part-time basis, doing major gift fundraising. His job will mainly entail visiting with alumni and engaging them in Berry events.

Sylvia Howard, Massey’s former office manager, said he has always naturally connected with alumni.

“We would get emails and phone calls from alumni wanting to talk with Rufus because they wanted to make a career change,” Howard said. “They wanted to touch base with Rufus because he had made such an impact on them.”’

Massey will not join the advancement department right away, though. After he retires this June, he will take a three-month vacation to relax and complete one of his bucket list goal of traveling to all 50 states with his wife. He only has five states left, and he plans to start in Alaska. He and his wife are also tennis players and have booked tickets to go to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York.

Overall, Massey said he is extremely grateful for all the opportunities Briggs has given him and for everything Berry has done for him. The student work program is expected to continue to develop in his absence.

2 thoughts on “Rufus Massey retires after a 25-year career at Berry

  1. Donna Donahue Hagerty, Class of 1973: Congratulations Rufus!! So glad that you are taking some time to travel after retirement!😀

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