April 29, 2021
Remembering communication studies professor emeritus Charlie Griffin
It is with sadness that we report the passing of our friend and colleague Charlie J.G. Griffin on April 21.
A memorial gathering will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at Kansas State University's All Faiths Chapel. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will have a "moving memorial." Those wishing to pay respects to Griffin are invited to come through the chapel and view a collection of memories, read remarks and share with each other. Some seating will be available for those who would like some time to reflect. Masks will be required and physical distancing will be maintained inside the building.
Griffin died at his home in Lawrence. Griffin grew up in Evanston, Illinois. After graduating from Northwestern University, he served in the U.S. Navy. Following his military service, Griffin completed his Master of Arts and doctorate at the University of Missouri and then came to Kansas State University. He worked at K-State from 1984-2017, serving as a faculty member and department head of communication studies. His research interests included rhetorical criticism, the rhetoric of religion in American life and history of American public address. One of Griffin's great joys was traveling to and researching at the Eisenhower Presidential Library.
We remember Griffin for his humility, his kindness and his compassion. Griffin was a beloved teacher. His former students recall a faculty member who was passionate about his teaching, never too busy to listen, always engaging and encouraging. Many of his former undergraduate students went on to seek graduate degrees in communication studies because of the inspiration they found in his classroom. As a department head, Griffin is remembered for his thoughtfulness and fairness. He was always willing to listen to faculty and students and to work toward a better way of working together. His leadership, collegiality and scholarship shaped the lives of his colleagues inside and outside the department and helped pave the way for the communication studies department as we know it today.
As a colleague and friend, we remember Griffin as charming, witty and generous. So many of us had the pleasure of sitting in Griffin's office or in coffee shops talking about rhetoric or family or politics. He was quick to smile and joke. He was a wonderful storyteller and an even better listener. One always felt better about life after spending just a short time with Griffin.
We are so thankful for our time with Charlie J.G. Griffin.