​The Griffin endowment is named to recognize the significant public service contributions of distinguished CMU alumni Robert P. Griffin, former U.S. senator, and his wife, Marjorie, former Clarke Historical Library board member.

Marjorie Griffin and Senator Robert P. Griffin attend the Griffin Policy Forum at Central Michigan University April 19, 2005 

Griffin Forum Reception - April 19, 2005

Marjorie and Robert P. Griffin

Robert P. Griffin

The Honorable Robert P. Griffin (1923-2015) served 22 years in the U.S. Congress. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956 and was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1966 following the death of Senator Patrick McNamara. He was elected later the same year and re-elected in 1972, serving through 1978. He was the Republican minority whip from 1969-77.

After his Senate terms, Griffin continued his public service on various boards while practicing law privately until 1986 when he was elected to an eight-year term as associate justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

After graduating from Dearborn's Fordson High School, Griffin began his Central Michigan studies in 1941. His education was interrupted in 1943 by World War II. He earned two battle stars while serving with the 71st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in the European Theater, returned to Central Michigan in 1946 and graduated in 1947 with a bachelor of science degree. He married Marjorie Jean Anderson the same year.

Griffin earned his juris doctor degree from University of Michigan in 1950 and later was awarded 11 honorary degrees, including a doctor of laws (LL.D.) degree from CMU. He donated his U.S. Congressional papers to Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University after he left the Senate.

Senator Griffin died April 17, 2015, at the age of 91. Read obituary

Marjorie Anderson Griffin

The valedictorian of Ludington High School, Marjorie Anderson Griffin (1922-2017) attended Central State Teacher's College to become a teacher, graduating in 1944 -- once again as valedictorian of her class. She was very active as a Central college student, serving as president of the Association of Women Students and as the first chairman of the Central's Victory Loan Fund for returning veterans.

Griffin taught two years in Greenville, Michigan, before returning to Central Michigan as a faculty member in Park Library. She later served a decade as a member of the Board of Governors of the Clarke Historical Library.

Mrs. Griffin died February 1, 2017, at the age of 94. Read obituary

President Gerald R. Ford, Marjorie Griffin and Senator Robert P. Griffin 

                 Photo by Peggy Brisbane

Ford dedicates government chair

Former U.S. President Gerald Ford and CMU alumni Robert and Marjorie Griffin stand for questions during a news conference following a dinner program that inaugurated the Robert and Marjorie Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government on Tuesday in the Bovee University Center. Earlier in the evening, CMU President Leonard Plachta told guests that it was President Ford's "unwavering belief in democracy and in the future of our country that forms the very essence of why we are here tonight — to establish the Griffin Endowed Chair.... This is a chair that will make CMU a leader in advancing the involvement of young people in American government." Robert Griffin, a 1947 graduate of CMU, served 22 years in the U.S.House and Senate and eight years as a Michigan Supreme Court justice. He was a key Congressional leader in the Ford presidency. Marjorie Anderson Griffin was valedictorian of Central's 1944 graduating class and served 10 years on the board of directors of the Clarke Historical Library.

Centraline 10/25/1999

President Gerald R. Ford, Marjorie Griffin and Senator Robert P. Griffin 

                  Photo by Peggy Brisbane