Patricia Griffin recognizes that many graduate students weren’t as financially fortunate as she was.
As a Ph.D. student in Education at U-M in the 1970s, she recalls, “Not everybody had the financial freedom I had. While I was in graduate school I was lucky enough to secure a half-time position in the public schools that paid well, thus freeing me to devote the time needed to my studies. Therefore, I was in good shape financially compared to many of my peers who had to rely on a variety of less stable resources to help pay for their doctorates. Today, graduate education is so much more expensive than it was then. More than ever, students are finding themselves in need of financial assistance to get through school.”
Since then, Pat’s vast experience in education has only solidified her view on its importance. She says, “My graduate degree from Michigan helped open many doors for me during my 40-year career in education. I believe that education is still the main key to opportunity in America. Moreover, I believe that public education is the specific key that provides the most opportunities for the most people. Community colleges, where I spent 30 of my 40 years in various academic, student support and administrative roles, do an especially superb job of welcoming and educating all comers. Community colleges give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills to improve their lives, fulfill their dreams and ultimately make a contribution to society.”
She continues, “When I was asked if I would consider giving back to Michigan by endowing a scholarship at Rackham, I thought about it for a while, and then I decided, well, I can do this. More importantly, I decided I wanted to do it. I’m happy to make available this kind of scholarship support to U-M graduate students who share my belief in the value of community colleges, and who are interested in doing research to expand upon the many opportunities community colleges make available to students. And I hope too that by endowing a scholarship, other past – and future – graduates of Rackham will think about their time at Michigan, and then decide they want to give back too.”