Arkansas State University - Newport

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ASUN Lobby
December 2020

A farewell message from Dr. Massey

After more than 36 years of employment, including ten years with Arkansas State University-Newport, I have decided it is time for me to retire.  Working for ASU has been a lifetime dream of mine, and becoming ASUN’s Chancellor was an honor for which I will be forever grateful.

My professional pathway has provided incredible opportunities to serve others, especially as Chancellor of ASU-Newport.  It has been a privilege to serve in that capacity and I will dearly miss ASUN’s most important constituents – the students.  Community colleges offer such a unique opportunity for students from all walks of life to succeed. Our students face many challenges: they are working full-time jobs, raising families, and caring for others, all while trying to better their futures. Their resilience and determination are qualities I will always admire. I will miss seeing our students, hearing their stories, and watching them reach goals beyond their wildest dreams. At the end of the day, I know that my life’s work has been worth it to better these students’ lives. 

Dr. Massey pictured with Ace the Aviator, Christmas 2018

I will also sincerely miss ASUN’s exemplary faculty and staffI have always felt blessed to work with the caliber of employees that ASUN has been fortunate enough to attract.  Yes, they have great talent; but they also have heart.  That is what sets them apart and made me fall in love with ASU-Newport.  Our employees are willing to make personal and professional sacrifices every day to serve the good of the community, most especially our students.  They touch lives in a way that truly transforms people, gives them hope, and helps them to succeed.  Our employees’ excellence has been consistently reinforced in my mind as I have watched them navigate the ongoing pandemic. They have demonstrated flexibility, innovation, resilience, and compassion, while creatively engaging students and successfully operating the college remotely.

I have also been blessed with an outstanding System Office and Board of Trustees who truly understand the two-year college mission and genuinely care about our students and employees. It has been my pleasure to work with an amazing System President who has given me the space to run ASUN’s campuses but also been there to provide valuable guidance and support.  I am confident that ASUN is anchored on a solid foundation and will continue to be successful in the decades to come. 

Dr. Massey pictured with chancellors in the ASU System

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention another most essential group of ASUN constituents – our community members.  A community college simply cannot exist without the community, and many of you have contributed to my success and the success of the college more than you will ever know.  Through advocacy, partnerships, service on our boards and committees, support of the sales tax, and generous donations, you have played a pivotal role in making ASUN the outstanding institution that it is today.  As I attend my last community meetings, I look around the rooms and can’t help but marvel at how many wonderful individuals I have had the pleasure of working with. Many of us have become deeply connected, and I will always call you my friends.  We have shared a love for the college and community, and your engagement has made working here an enjoyable and rewarding experience. 

I am excited about my impending retirement and spending more quality time with my family, as well as pursuing some of my personal interests.  My husband, Ward, and I received a warm reception from everyone we met early on, and our feelings for the community have continued to grow with each year.  It is hard to believe how quickly time has flown by, and on some level, it feels like we have lived here our whole lives. 

Dr. Massey pictured with her family and scholarship winner

I will close with one of my favorite sayings: “Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts…And we are never ever the same.”  You have all left footprints on my heart, and I will never be the same.  I am leaving ASUN, but I am taking many great memories and years of friendship with me. And for that, I thank you.