Alan J. Griffith ’76
Five years ago, Alan J. Griffith ’76 was speaking to senior business majors at a Scranton career day. Recalling the impact of his University degree, he delivered two primary messages to the students.
First, he said, their education meant they were ready to succeed, no matter whom they were pitted against.
“I felt, coming out of Scranton, that I could compete with anybody,” Griffith says today. “In the business world, I was working with the best of the best from other firms – investment banking firms, corporate acquisition and development firms, financial institutions – and I felt I was prepared to compete with any of them.”
Second, he told them, don’t assume that you know everything you need to know. You’ve only just begun.
“Scranton teaches you that education is a lifelong process,” Griffith says.
“I learned more since I left Scranton than I did in my time there – but it prepares you to learn and gives you the confidence that you don’t need to take a back seat to anyone you’re working with.”
After a successful corporate career, Griffith retired last year as senior vice president for finance and administration in ARAMARK’s food and support services unit. With time on his hands and the financial means to give back, he and his wife, Marla, began prioritizing their list of charitable beneficiaries. The University of Scranton was at the top of their list.
“This is a transformative time,” Griffith says, citing new student activities facilities, academic buildings, and residence halls. “Scranton is a happening place, and what’s happening now is going to change the campus for the next 50 or 75 years.”
The Griffiths say they chose to augment their annual donation to the University with a significant gift to the Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign because its emphasis on physical infrastructure and endowment will allow Scranton to sustain and grow its current success.
“If you haven’t been back to campus in a while, come back and take a look,” he urges. “You won’t recognize the place. You ought to get yourself up to date on the things the school has accomplished. Look at the number of Fulbright scholars it’s producing and the rankings it gets. The school is making a difference in young people’s lives, and it’s being recognized for that. You have an opportunity to continue that and to build that legacy.”