NBA Veteran John Salley to Address Tech Graduates
Morehouse President Walter Massey Speaks at Afternoon Ceremony
Posted December 7, 2004 | Atlanta
NBA veteran John Salley and Walter Massey, Ph.D., president of Morehouse College, will deliver the addresses at the Georgia Institute of Technology's 220th commencement ceremonies on Saturday, December 11, 2004, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The two ceremonies will feature 1,250 graduates.
Alumnus John Salley, who will address the undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m., is a twelve-year NBA veteran and the only player in league history to win four championships with three different teams*two with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990, one with the Chicago Bulls in 1996 and one with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000.
As a student at Tech, Salley was an impact player on the Yellow Jackets men*s basketball team from 1982 to 1986, where he was named to All-ACC teams in 1985 and 1986. Just one year shy of graduation, he was chosen as a first-round draft pick on the Detroit Pistons. He returned to Tech in 1987 during the Pistons* off-season to earn his bachelor*s degree in industrial management in 1988. His no. 22 jersey is retired and hangs in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. He was inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 1991.
After an impressive run with the Pistons from 1986-1992, Salley played in Chicago with Michael Jordan as part of the Bulls championship team. In 1999, Coach Phil Jackson invited Salley to come to Los Angeles to provide experience and leadership to the 1999-2000 Lakers* championship team.
After his retirement from the NBA in 2000, Salley explored several opportunities in both television and film. He is currently serving as the co-host of the Emmy nominated, critically acclaimed sports talk show, *The Best Damn Sports Show Period* on Fox Sports Net, as a celebrity judge on the TBS reality show *He*s A Lady* and as a host on Nick At Nite*s reality show *Family Face Off.*
Additionally, Salley is head of his own production company, Black Folk Entertainment, using his uncanny ability to find unique and interesting projects. He also is active in the music industry, representing up-and-coming musical groups and acquiring a music library of hip-hop and R&B artists. He is responsible for discovering R&B vocalist and 1996 Grammy winner Tony Rich.
In 1997, Salley started The John Salley Raindrop Foundation, a non-profit corporation that benefits young people in America*s lower income neighborhoods, funding programs for them in art, literature, music, science and sports.
Massey, who will address the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m., is the ninth president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, the nation*s largest private, four-year liberal arts college for men.
With an annual enrollment of approximately 2,800 students, representing more than 40 states and a dozen foreign countries, Morehouse enjoys a long-standing tradition of producing outstanding leaders.
Prior to joining Morehouse, Massey held a range of administrative and academic positions, including provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of California, the second most senior position in the UC System.
Massey is former director of the National Science Foundation, a position to which he was appointed by former President George Bush. The Foundation is the government*s lead agency for support of research and education in mathematics, science and engineering. Massey also has served as vice president for research at the University of Chicago and director of the Argonne National Laboratory, dean of the college and professor of physics at Brown University and assistant professor of physics at the University of Illinois.
After earning a bachelor*s degree in physics and mathematics from Morehouse in 1958, Massey received his master*s and doctorate in physics in 1966 from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Massey*s research has involved the study of quantum liquids and solids.
His written work has also addressed science and math education, the role of science in a democratic society, and university-industry interactions and technology transfer in the international setting.
Active in a range of organizations, Massey is a member and past chair of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and is currently serving his second term as a member of the President*s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, having also served on the Council under former President Bush.