"My biggest contribution has been that I'm a good chemistry teacher.
God's given me the gift of helping people understand." (from "The Gift
of Helping People Understand", Navy Times, August 1991)
On the first day of class: "I won't try to make a fool out of you
because God beat me to it." To put students at ease: "My wife calls me
her FBI man: Fat, Black, and Intelligent." (from "Academy Professor
Provides his Plebes Lessons of a Lifetime," Baltimore Sun, June 1991)
"All of my students began with an 'A'. Some students would say, 'Dr.
Massie, you're crazy. I have never had an 'A' in Chemistry in my life.
Why would you give me an 'A'? I always told them, 'Because I'm going to
treat you and expect you to handle it like an 'A' student. 'A' students
do harder work. 'A' students come to class. 'A' students react to
different things.' Now, they didn't all appreciate it, but at least for
the moment they believed it. And I believed that they were capable of
making an 'A'. People will do what you expect them to do, I've learned
that." (from speech "Where Do We Go from Here
," delivered by Dr. Massie before The Economic Club of Detroit, January
"Many people, and some of them are teachers, who unconsciously make
science and mathematics too difficult, feel that science and mathematics
are not for the common student. They are wrong. The depth of use may
vary, but the principles remain understandable to all of us." (from
"Science and Mathematics in the 21st Century")
"You should live so that when you die even the undertaker will cry."
(from speech "Where Do We Go from Here,"
delivered by Dr. Massie before The Economic Club of Detroit, January 16,
"I'd like to be remembered as a teacher who cared, as a man who tries
to make a difference." (from "Brains + Passion =
Naval Academy's First Black Professor," Laurel Leader, July 1, 1993)
"Be a part of the solution, not the problem." (from the speech "The
Flight of the Bumblebee)"
"You've never failed until you try for the last time, and you've
never lost until you quit." (charge to Beaumont students)
"Affirmative action can only get you in the door. It won't keep you
there. You have to do that yourself." (from "Traveling Navy Prof.
Inspires Blacks", The Capital, April 3, 1985)
On teaching a different kind of three R's: "I teach the [students]
that they need reason to collect and use facts. They also need to
respect everyone, from the admiral to the janitor. And they need
responsibility - because it's no small coincidence that the captain must
go down with his ship." (from "Massie honored for Lifetime Dedication to
Teaching," Trident, May 14, 1993)
"I always tell my students, you find what you're looking for. Don't
go looking for wrong." (from "Return of Montel Williams," The Capital,
April 30, 1993)
Ten Pointers for Successful Living in a Multi-Ethnic Society
Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence © 2005 - 2011
( Updated 07/04/2011 )