OU Vice President Emeritus and Senior Associate Vice President for University Development Paul Massad retired Nov. 1 after working as a university employee for 58 years.
Massad, who worked in a variety of departments since graduating from OU in 1960, confirmed his retirement to The Daily Nov. 14. Massad said he retired on his birthday, the same day prominent OU development administrators Tripp Hall and J.P. Audas were removed from their positions amid a round of staff layoffs.
“I don’t think you’ll find a greater cheerleader for the university than Paul Massad,” Hall said, speaking to Massad’s legacy at OU.
Hall took over the position of vice president for development after Massad, who served as interim vice president for the position until 2010. Massad then moved to take over as the director of major gifts for the university.
Through his lengthy tenure as a university employee, Massad has an endowed scholarship and a room in Gaylord Hall named in his honor. The Paul D. Massad Endowed Chair in Strategic Communication position was also named after Massad, one of only five endowed chair positions within Gaylord College.
“His decades of service to the university and our college needs to be celebrated,” said Lee Reynolds, director of development for Gaylord College. “He will have a living memory always in our college, as our student services office is named after him.”
Those close to Massad say his tenure at the university, particularly in OU’s department of university development, was defined by his ability to build relationships with other administrators, as well as with alumni and potential donors.
“I think one of the treasures that Paul has is his ability to maintain relationships across generations,” Hall said. “I know one family who has known Paul for five generations.”
Clarke Stroud, former dean of students and current director of football operations, said he has known Massad since Stroud began his career at the university. Stroud also pointed to Massad’s ability to build relationships as one of his biggest strengths, calling him the “perfect ambassador.”
“He served as a recruiter, he worked for years in University Development. I called him the perfect ambassador, he’s been an ambassador to so many people and helped them make connections,” Stroud said. “I don’t know anybody that doesn’t know Paul.”
Massad graduated from the university in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations. Over the years, Massad has been a strong supporter of Gaylord College.
“He’s been a wonderful supporter of journalism and public relations over the years,” Reynolds said.
Along with accolades and awards spanning his decades at OU, Stroud and Hall both said Massad carries with him significant institutional knowledge of OU’s history.
“I think his love for the university is self-evident,” Stroud said. “Spend 58 years in one spot — he did it 'cause he loved it.”
Hall said Massad’s guidance over the years was invaluable, and that Massad’s service to the university will be remembered well.
“Paul has been a mentor, friend and an adviser to presidents, vice presidents,” Hall said. “But more importantly, he was all of those things to families, students, faculty and staff. It’s been truly remarkable and admirable.”