Michael (“Mike”) Massey, JD’71, founder and longtime leader of our nationally recognized Professional Mentoring Program at the Sturm College of Law, passed away on January 5, 2022, at his Denver home at the age of 75.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Mike earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Denver, serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Denver Law Journal (currently, the University of Denver Law Review). After graduating from law school, Mike practiced law in Denver for three decades in the areas of corporate and securities law, first at a boutique firm and, later, with his own firm.
Mike joined the University of Denver in 2000 as a member of our Lawyering Process faculty. In 2005, in a moment of bold inspiration, Professor Massey initiated a mentoring program within his two sections of Lawyering Process. Since 2008, the Professional Mentoring Program that he created and lovingly sustained has offered every incoming JD student — and, increasingly, Master’s students as well — the opportunity to have a professional mentor. With roughly 625 students and 450 mentors involved in the program, the Professional Mentoring Program at the Sturm College of Law has become the largest and most respected law school mentoring program in the nation.
Blessed with great intelligence, energy, and wit, Mike was everything that a law school could wish for in an alumnus: a proud and beloved member of the Class of 1971, which celebrated its 50th reunion this past fall; a visionary and dedicated institutional citizen; a respected advisor to deans; and a generous donor. In addition to his many institutional contributions to the University of Denver and the Sturm College of Law, Mike served as president of the Board of Trustees of the National Repertory Orchestra, past president of the Denver Athletic Club, past president of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, and chairman emeritus of Historic Littleton, Inc.
Our thoughts are with Mike’s wife Kathie, daughter Michele, and her husband Tim at this difficult time. A celebration of life will be planned for a future date. At an appropriate juncture, in consultation with Mike’s family, friends, and grateful alumni supporters, we will also discuss ways to recognize Mike’s important and indelible legacy at the Sturm College of Law.