In its September meeting, the Board of Regents approved naming the new galleria, comprised of the Student Services Building, the Theater for the Arts and the plaza connecting them, for the longtime dean of students, who died in 1990 at age 93.
The manner in which Griffin will be honored has not yet been determined, said Rich Steele, acting director of the Student Center. "We're working on that right now," he said. "We just haven't defined how it is going to look." Among the ideas put forth are three-sided memorial kiosks at the entrances to the plaza, or a water fountain, Steele added.
Griffin, a 1922 civil engineering graduate, spent most of his adult life at Tech, first as a math instructor and a track and football coach. In 1930 he was named assistant dean of students, and in 1946 he was promoted to dean of students, where he served until retiring in 1964.
A retired Navy Reserve captain, Griffin maintained an active presence on campus long after his official tenure had ended. Working out of a campus office, he busied himself with many special projects, counseled job-seekers and generally did all he could to promote Tech and its alumni. He was a popular speaker at alumni club meetings, and his anecdotes about life and people on North Avenue were legion.
Griffin was also the last surviving member of Tech's famous 1917 football team that trounced Cumberland 222-0.
The memorial to Griffin caps a 25-year effort by former Dean of Students James E. Dull to honor the man who hired him in 1955.
"He was the glue that held student life together," Dull said. "For the period of years he was here, I don't think that there was anybody who gave as much of himself as he did."
Griffin has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 1955 Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Most recently, he was posthumously induced into the Pi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame.
At night, students have a new place to study, read, watch TV or just hang out. Georgia Tech administrators and the Student Center Governing Board have approved keeping the Student Center open 24 hours a day on a trial basis. Security personnel will be stationed inside the center at night, and only the doors facing the parking lot and the library will be open. Previously the center was open around the clock only during finals week.
The dining areas will remain closed at night, but more snack vending machines have been added.