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Floyd Griffin of Milledgeville, Georgia, a 1966 Tuskegee University graduate and current member of the university’s Board of Trustees, has donated his collection of personal papers to the Georgia College and State University — also located in his hometown. The university formally accepted the donation to its Ina Dillard Russell Library during a ceremony on June 19.
Griffin’s personal papers span his days as a Tuskegee student in the 1960s through his time as a public servant. In addition to previously owning Slater’s Funeral Home in Milledgeville, his public service career has included retiring as a colonel in the U.S. Army, and being elected to serve two terms as a Georgia state senator and one term as mayor. During his time in the Georgia State Senate, he chaired the Interstate Cooperation Committee and served on committees that included Defense and Veteran’s Affairs, Health and Human Services, Higher Education, Local and State Government Operations, and the Rules Committee.
Formally called the Floyd L. Griffin Jr. Papers, the collection includes photographs and photo albums; previous speeches; unpublished and published versions of his autobiography, Legacy to Legend: Winners Make It Happen, which he published in 2009; a copy of his oral history from The Historymakers collection at the U.S. Library of Congress; and memorabilia from the 1960s to the present. Included in this special collection are the papers of U.S. Congressman Carl Vinson, U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell and other distinguished Georgians. His papers will be held by Special Collections at the university’s Ina Dillard Russell Library. The collection will be the first to feature an African-American’s papers in the library’s special collection.
Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in building construction from Tuskegee and master’s degree in contract and procurement management from Florida Institute of Technology. He also holds an associate’s degree in funeral service from Gupton-Jones College.
Griffin graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College, and in 1967, entered the U.S. Army. In Vietnam, he served as a helicopter pilot, instructor pilot, aviation platoon leader and commander of a construction engineer company. After combat service, he commanded an engineer battalion under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, was later promoted to the rank of colonel, and then served on the Army Staff at the Pentagon.
As an educator, he first served as an assistant professor of military science at Wake Forest University. He later directed the ROTC program at Winston-Salem State University, where as the football program’s backfield coach, the team won two conservative college championships. Griffin also has served as a part-time instructor for the Georgia College and State University’s School of Business.
He currently serves as a Tuskegee University trustee and member of the Board of Visitors for the Georgia College and State University. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, based in Alexandria, Virginia. His achievements include induction into the Winston-Salem State University’s “Big-House Gaines” Athletic Hall of Fame and Tuskegee University’s ROTC Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was presented with the James Wimberly Racial Barrier Breaker Award for the extraordinary achievement of being the first African-American mayor of Milledgeville. Griffin also was selected and saluted as one of the 2002 recipients of The National History Makers in Chicago.
He is married to the former Nathalie Huffman, also a Tuskegee graduate. Together, they have two sons — also Tuskegee University graduates — and four grandsons.
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