The horrific Amtrak derailment in Pennsylvania that left at least seven dead and more than 200 injured claimed the life of Ph.D. candidate and Dean of Student Affairs at Medgar Evers College Derrick Griffith.
The 42-year-old scholar was a pillar of the Medgar Evers College community and an activist for higher education in the surrounding communities. Rudy Crew, president of Medgar Evers College, spoke highly of Griffith in a statement following his death.
"There could not be a finer educator," Crew writes. "He was an outstanding and very distinguished person who guided many, many students at Medgar Evers since 2011, and finished his Ph.D. about a month ago and was really the source of tremendous motivation for all [of] us in one form or another; he did so much for the students."
Griffith worked effortlessly advocating for the education of those less fortunate. In a recent post shared on his Facebook page, Griffith shared, “I have (been) and continue to be moved by countless numbers of students who have reconnected to higher education as the direct result of enrolling in CUNY Prep. We know that students who disconnect from traditional school systems are most likely to seek alternate pathways to high school completion.”
Days away from his own graduation, Griffith is survived by his son and mother who are “distraught,” says Crew. “They are absolutely in distress mode.”
(Photo: Clareese Hill/Medgar Evers College staff photographer)