Abilene Christian University honored Wayne Massey, M.D., and Janice Massey, M.D., with the Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award at May Commencement. The couple both graduated from ACU and are now professors and neurologists at Duke University School of Medicine.
The Outlive Your Life Award is named for its first recipients, Dale and Rita Brown, and takes its name from Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, the 2010 book by minister, bestselling Christian author and ACU graduate Max Lucado. The award recognizes all types of servant leadership exhibited by friends or alumni of the university.
“After decades of pioneering research, caring for the sick and educating future healthcare professionals, the Masseys share a legacy that will be felt for generations to come,” said Dr. Phil Schubert, ACU president.
The Masseys married in 1967, and although they chose the same profession, specialty and university, each took unique paths to medicine and neurology.
While Wayne attended medical school at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Janice taught high school mathematics and expected to become a stay-at-home mom. But a genetics seminar at ACU had piqued her interest in the subject, and when Wayne completed medical school, she pursued graduate school studies. When Wayne was drafted into the Vietnam War and served at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Janice attended medical school at Georgetown University.
Janice was a pioneer from her early days at Duke, where she was the university’s first female professor of neurology. She works with patients with rare neuromuscular diseases and helped set standards for treatment of myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton syndrome worldwide. Janice teaches and mentors young physicians, especially women interested in academic neurology. And her faith informs her work.
“Having God in my life has provided me strength to be there for people,” she said. “It helps me recognize the need to care about others.”
Wayne, who played baseball at ACU, was salutatorian of his class. He later served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and has held various positions at Duke and other area hospitals with a focus on general neurology. He directed the Duke Rehabilitation Unit for 25 years and served on the American Academy of Neurology. Wayne treated thousands of patients until his retirement from clinical practice in 2014, and he has mentored or taught countless other medical students, residents and colleagues.
Wayne has been a member of ACU’s Board of Trustees since 2013, and Janice was a trustee from 1990-2011.
— Wendy Kilmer
May 27, 2021