Doris B. Jones: A Legacy That Lives On
When Doris B. Jones' late husband Dr. Furman C. Griffis joined the MSU Denver faculty in the very early days of the University, neither of them imagined the impact on generations of their family and others.
Sure, "Griff," as everyone but his wife called him, thrived with his colleagues in the Leisure Studies Program back when they worked out of tiny offices across from the Denver Athletic Club. You bet he adored teaching MSU Denver's unique students of all ages. Even when friends, faculty and family joined forces to endow a memorial scholarship in honor of his 20-plus years of service to the University Jones admits they didn't realize how a bigger legacy would unfold. "You don't know that going in," she admits. "You go into it trying to remember someone who was quite special. You don't think about all this other stuff that you have no way of knowing is going to happen. It has been wonderful."
In addition to the scholarship, which typically awards two $500 scholarships to leisure study students each year, one of the couple's three daughters is among MSU Denver alumni. Michele Ienna, a 1989 music graduate, teaches elementary music in Cherry Creek. And, currently, three of their seven grandchildren attend MSU Denver: BreAnne Griego, Tiffany Blakley and Kasha Trujillo.
Before enrolling, the granddaughters helped Jones select scholarship recipients. After graduation, she hopes they'll resume the tradition of both donations and service. "That will be really neat," Jones says, "because we don't all live forever, and we want it go on."
A retired teacher-she taught for 30 years primarily with Jeffco schools-Jones finds MSU Denver's campus activities and community invigorating. "To see all the students is just wonderful. It's amazing to see how much Metro State has grown," she says.
Jones continues to add to the endowment as her budget allows. She also built a planned gift to the University into her trust and accepted an invitation to join the MSU Denver Legacy Society.
Looking back, she is glad Dr. Griffis attended his daughter's graduation. "That was quite a moment," she recalls. "I think it will be even better when these girls graduate. They may not graduate all at the same time, for one reason or another, but they are very, very proud to be where he was."
– Roxanne Hawn
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