In a career filled with milestones, SAIC Chancellor Walter Massey's inclusion in the Nobel Prize ceremonies ranks among the highest—doubly so because his own contributions are implicated in the recipient's successes.
As former director of the National Science Foundation, Massey spearheaded a controversial research project to the tune of $205 million. As reported by Shia Kapos' Taking Names, "[t]he study found that gravitational ripples were created by the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion light-years away."
Massey, who later described the discovery as "mind-boggling," went as far as to testify before Congress to advocate for observatories detecting what we now refer to as gravitational waves.
Fast foward to 2017's prize, split between three physicists: Ranier Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne. The prize committee praised the trio's "decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves," according to the Nobel Prize website. Naturally, the Chancellor was on hand.
In his new role as City Colleges of Chicago's Board Chair, Massey also led a discussion from Sweden with City Colleges students via Skype.