Statement by Medgar Evers College (CUNY)
It is with a heavy heart that we regret to confirm that Derrick Griffith, Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management for Medgar Evers College, was killed in the horrific train derailment that occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, May 12, 2015.
Derrick was a pillar in the community. He served the students of Medgar Evers and the greater community with passion and he will be sorely missed. He was a champion for the downtrodden and he encouraged students to pursue education with vigor. During the course of his more than 10 years working in the field of education, Derrick wore a number of hats as he worked to help others look toward a better life. He served as a school principal for a number of years and in 2003, he founded the CUNY Preparatory Transitional High School. In 2011, he was the Executive Director of Groundwork, Inc., an organization formed to support young people living in high poverty urban communities. He joined Medgar Evers College that same year as Assistant Provost in what was to become the first of a number of roles he would fill at the College.
Even as he was encouraging young people to reach for greater heights for themselves, he was working to attain his own educational goals. Just one month ago, Derrick was granted a Doctorate of Philosophy in Urban Education by the City University of New York Graduate Center. He was 42 years old.