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Friends turn tables on longtime staffer by establishing a scholarship in his honor

The OU Foundation, Priority Magazine

Paul Massad
Paul Massad, second from right

During his 51 years (and counting) of service to the University of Oklahoma, Paul Massad has successfully recruited countless students to the University, kept them connected as alumni, and encouraged them to give back in a myriad of ways.  Now the tables have turned, with generations of alumni saying “thank you” to their mentor and friend by contributing to the Paul D. Massad Endowed Sooner Heritage Scholarship created in his honor.

Massad, who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1960, began his professional career during his senior year at OU, working in the Extension Division (now OU Outreach).  He went on to recruit students as director of High School and College Relations and kept them connected to their alma mater as the chief executive of OU’s Alumni Association.  In 1990, Paul was promoted to associate vice president for University Affairs and executive director of Alumni Affairs. 

In 2000, he moved to University Development, where his longtime relationships with OU alumni have made him one of OU’s most successful fundraisers. In June 2007, he was named acting vice president for University Development and in October 2007 was appointed vice president. He now holds the distinguished title of vice president emeritus. Today, he is senior associate vice president for University Development and director of Major Gifts and remains, as President David Boren says, “one of the University’s greatest assets.”

JP Audas, associate vice president for Alumni and Development, is directing the fund-raising effort for Massad’s scholarship and has seen, firsthand, the way people feel about Massad. “I have heard dozens of stories about Paul; everyone has one,” said Audas, “but the thread running through every story is how Paul helped them, helped their children and, in many cases, their grandchildren.  People connect to Paul’s caring attitude, his humor, and his unshakeable love for OU.” The family of alumni Denny and Dixie Bartell of Houston is a great example.  Three generations of the Bartell family know and admire Massad.

“There have been eight people in the Bartell family who have benefited from Paul’s generosity, and we’re going to each give $5,000,” said longtime OU supporter Denny Bartell, in making the $40,000 gift to Paul’s scholarship.  More than 120 different donors, including Paul’s OU colleagues, have contributed to the scholarship, which is up over $250,000.

“Paul wanted this fund to support Sooner Heritage scholarships, because those are available to all students with financial need,” said Audas.  “I think it’s wonderful to know that generations from now, OU students will still be helped by Paul Massad by way of this scholarship in his name.” To contribute to the Paul D. Massad Endowed Sooner Heritage Scholarship, contact JP Audas at 405-325-2395 or email jaudas@ou.edu.

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