Dr. Derrick Griffith, 42, of Brooklyn, was the dean of student affairs and enrollment management at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, and had just gotten his doctorate of philosophy in urban education before he was killed in the crash, according to Jamilah Fraser, the assistant vice president for communications and public relations at Medgar Evers College, who confirmed he died in the crash.
In a statement, CUNY said: “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,” the statement said.
In a Facebook post, CUNY Prep said: “Thank you for all of the thoughtful texts and tributes on Facebook for our founder, our Principal, our friend Derrick Griffith. We are all struggling with this terrible news and trying to find our way during this sad time. CUNY Prep will be closed tomorrow for day school and cta students. The staff will be there to mourn together and provide support to those in need.”
An NBC 4 New York Facebook post on Griffith’s death was filled with tributes by those who knew him. “He was the best principal anyone could ask for. He pushed us and believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. I am going to miss Griff like crazy and am heartbroken that I won’t be able to see him one last time,” wrote Stan N Tiffany Beasley.
A candlelight vigil for Griffith was scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. at 1650 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn Thursday.
Source: NBC New York