The City University of New York has renamed its preparatory high school in The Bronx in honor of Derrick Griffith, its founding principal. Dr. Griffith was killed in the Amtrak train wreck in Philadelphia this past May.
In a resolution renaming the school, the board of trustees of the City University of New York said that “Dr. Griffith transformed thousands of lives of young New Yorkers who were uplifted by his encouragement as they found the resolve to pursue education and build personal beliefs in their own ability to persevere. He was a true visionary whose compassion and intelligence were paralleled only by his sense of humor and love for his students, colleagues, friends and family.”
At the time of his death, Dr. Griffith was dean of student affairs at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. He joined the staff at Medgar Evers College in 2011 as an assistant provost. He served as the founding principal at the Preparatory Transitional High School of the City University of New York from 2003 to 2010.
One month before his death at the age of 42, Griffith completed work on a doctorate in urban education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The life of Medgar Everswas cut far too short 50 years ago, when the civil rights activist and war veteran was assassinated at just 37-years-old by a White supremacist. Although Evers would not live to see the Civil Rights Movement blossom, he helped plant early seeds of change in the Deep South that eventually took hold. Born in the small town of Decatur, Miss., on July 2, 1925, Evers was one of five children to his parents,James and Jesse.
The family lived on a small farm, while James worked in a nearby sawmill. Young Medgar would have to walk 12 miles to school each day, eventually earning his high school diploma. In 1943, Evers was drafted into the U.S. Army and fought in World War II in the countries of France and Germany. Discharged honorably in 1946 after earning the rank of sergeant, Evers entered into Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University) to study business administration.
During his senior year, Evers would marry fellow student Myrlie Beasley (now Evers-Williams) and the couple went on to have three children, Darrell, Reena, and James. Evers graduated from Alcorn College in 1952. The young couple moved to Mound Bayou in Mississippi, and Evers worked for notable civil rights activist T.R.M. Howard as an insurance salesman. Evers also served as the president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL). The RCNL staged boycotts in the state against gas stations that denied Black patrons from using their restrooms.
Edison O. Jackson is the sixth president of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He has been serving as interim president since May 2012. He has agreed to serve as president until July 2016. The board of trustees stated that it would begin a search for his successor in January 2015.
Dr. Jackson previously served as president of Compton Community College in California and as president of Medgar Evers College, part of the City University of New York system. He retired as president of Medgar Evers College in 2009 after serving in that position for 20 years.
Dr. Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in counseling from Howard University. He holds a doctorate in education from Rutgers University.