Francis “Abit” Massey, a 1949 UGA graduate and president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation, will give the summer Commencement address at UGA’s combined undergraduate and graduate ceremony Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.
Tickets are not required. Doors open at 8 a.m.
“Welcoming back an alumnus like Abit Massey, who is a living legend in the world of Georgia agribusiness, is an honor for the university,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “He is one of the most respected and influential leaders in the agricultural industry, and he has given to his alma mater with tremendous devotion and generosity. The university is a far better place because of his contributions.”
For 48 years, Massey led the Georgia Poultry Federation, a nonprofit trade association that represents the state’s poultry industry. In 2009, he was named president emeritus and continues to work full time supporting Georgia’s largest agricultural commodity.
The poultry federation works to protect and improve the competitive position of the poultry industry in Georgia on behalf of growers at the farm level, the poultry companies and the allied businesses that support the industry.
Through his work, Massey formed a close relationship between the poultry federation and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences that led to advances in poultry research. He also established a poultry research project at the Georgia Institute of Technology that is now more than 40 years old.
Before working for the Georgia Poultry Federation, Massey was head of the former state Department of Commerce-now the Georgia Department of Economic Development-where he created the tourist division and built the first welcome station.
Massey graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has served his alma mater in a variety of capacities since then.
He was president of the UGA Alumni Association, trustee of the UGA Foundation, president of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association and chairman of the College of Veterinary Medicine advisory board. He currently is on the board of directors for the UGA Research Foundation and is a past board member of the UGA Real Estate Foundation and the Terry College of Business Alumni Association.
UGA’s Commencement ceremony will be for students who complete degree requirements at the end of the summer 2014 semester. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Channel 15 of the university cable systems and Channel 181 on Charter. It also will be streamed live at http://www.ctl.uga.edu/.