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Marshall Grigsby

Educational adviser Marshall Grigsby was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 18, 1946. After earning his B.A. in political science from Morehouse College in 1968, Grigsby relocated to Chicago, where he pursued a master's of theology and doctorate in ministry from the University of Chicago, completing his program in 1972.

Grigsby began his career after earning his master's in 1970, working as the executive director of the Black Legislative Clearing House, which provided educational and research services to the nation's black legislators. After completing his Ph.D., Grigsby moved to Ohio, where he became the associate director of the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada. In that capacity, he worked with the schools to address the concerns of the minority students of the programs. In 1975, Grigsby was named assistant dean and an associate professor at the Divinity School at Howard University, where he remained for the next ten years. Continuing on in the academic world, Grigsby was named president of Benedict College in 1985, and in 1993 he was appointed to the positions of executive vice president, provost and CEO of Hampton University. After serving only a year at Hampton, Grigsby was summoned to Capitol Hill, where he served as the senior higher education specialist for Democratic members of Congress and as special adviser to Congressman William Clay. Grigsby left in 2001 to form his own company, Grigsby and Associates, an educational policy development consulting firm.

In addition to his consulting work, Grigsby serves on the Board of Trustees of USA Funds, which provides guaranteed loans of more than $10 billion a year to students across the country. He is also a managing consultant with the Council for Opportunity in Education and is the senior scholar with the Claiborne Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Education. Grigsby was one of five college presidents in 1991 to receive the Knight Foundation Presidential Leadership Award. Grigsby and his wife, Harriet, live in Maryland.

Accession Number

A2003.155

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/15/2003

Last Name

Grigsby

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Phoenix Union Bioscience High School

Phoenix College

First Name

Marshall

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

GRI03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/18/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Academic administrator, theologian, education chief executive, and education policy consultant Marshall Grigsby (1946 - ) founded Marshall Grigsby and Associates, an educational policy consulting firm. He also served as the former associate dean and associate professor at Howard University Divinity School, president of Benedict College, executive vice president, provost and CEO of Hampton University, and the senior higher education specialist for Democratic members of Congress.

Employment

Black Legislative Clearinghouse

Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

Howard University School of Divinity

Benedict College

Hampton University

United States Congress

Grigsby & Associates

Favorite Color

Green

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marshall Grigsby's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby shares the story of his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby describes the personality and occupation of his father, HistoryMaker Jefferson Eugene Grigsby

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby describes Phoenix, Arizona in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby describes segregation in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Carver High School, the former all-black school in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marshall Grigsby describes his love of school and reading as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his favorite elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences attending Phoenix Union High School in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby describes his and his parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby talks about leaving the NAACP Youth Council to organize a chapter of CORE

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Elijah Muhammad's home in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby describes traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to Atlanta, Georgia by train to enroll at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his limited involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as a student at Morehouse College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about important figures associated with Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marshall Grigsby remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby describes enrolling at the University of Chicago Divinity School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby comments on the concept of "higher law"

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby talks about studying under Charles Long at the University of Chicago Divinity School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby describes why he chose to be ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his civic involvement in Chicago during the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences working for the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences working for the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about Howard Thurman

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marshall Grigsby talks about theological debates

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marshall Grigsby talks about the Mega Church Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marshall Grigsby comments on the black church

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences teaching at the Howard University School of Divinity

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences serving as President of Benedict College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences serving as President of Benedict College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marshall Grigsby describes leaving Benedict College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marshall Grigsby talks about reforming higher education policy in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marshall Grigsby shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his future plans

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marshall Grigsby talks about his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Marshall Grigsby talks about Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
Marshall Grigsby describes his experiences serving as President of Benedict College, pt. 2
Transcript
Well what was life like on the campus, did you get the chance to know Dr. Mays?$$Oh yeah, yeah. We--and knew him and worked with him literally up until the time he died. We, as I said, he was my Advisor so I had to report--he and his wife Sadie Mays. And then a number of people that took me under their wing, he's one. Never will forget when Martin King was coming back from Oslo, having won the Nobel Peace Prize, I had to ride with Dr. Mays in his car to the airport, cause we went to the airport to meet Dr. King and his family. Dr. Mays couldn't drive a lick, and he wouldn't get on the expressway, and he drove all the way from campus to the airport with one foot on the brake and on the accelerator. And it was like that all the way out there.$$But he--I've interviewed, at least two people, James Compton [HM] being one of them that was a chauffeur for Dr. Mays. They were students, and their job was to drive him around, so there may be a good reason for that.$$Well, yeah, sure, absolutely. And in those days, and to some extent now, you know College Presidents were driven around. When I was a President I basically insisted on driving myself, but I didn't want the trappings of all of that and everything else. But he, we became friends over the years in a way that I never realized. One of the things, he would always come to every year to Howard University [Washington, D.C.] and speak in the Chapel. And while I was at Howard, I spent 11 years at Howard; several times I would pick him up from the airport and take him to the campus. But whenever I encountered him, I always gave him the respect of telling him my name. Cause I didn't expect him to remember who I was, I mean the man travelled in incessantly and was constantly involved. I remember the last time I spoke with him; I had picked him up from the airport. He had a plane ticket in his pocket, cause he was going someplace else, and I walked up to him and he said Grigsby, if you tell me your name again, I'm gonna scream (laughing) it was funny. But later on, I discovered something about him, and this was after he had died, he and a good friend of his, Sam Nabrit, and Sam was the first black recipient of a PhD from Brown University. He got a PhD in Chemistry and he was, [President Dwight D.] Eisenhower appointed him to the Atomic Energy Commission. I mean, he's involved in all kinds of stuff; Sam was also the President of the Southern Fellowship Foundation which was the organization that underwrote my graduate education, so he supported me through the years. Sam, he also ended up being the Chairman of the Search Committee for the Presidency of Benedict College and he is the one that basically engineered to get me elected President at the college. And told me a few years after that, said that he and Mays were traveling on a plane going somewhere, and he said that keep your eye on Grigsby and that if the right situation opens up, make sure he gets in it. And so you never know what kind of impression you're making on people, and you never know who's looking over your shoulder and who's making opportunities available that happened long before you even got on the scene. But he was a--and also there was and is a black good ol boy network too that looks out for folks. That was an interesting experience that I had with him.$As I said, I saw my mission as helping to strengthen the infrastructure of the institution which is what we did through the academic programs and were able to be recognized in a number of arenas as having a top notch quality programs. As again, I mentioned the Honors Program became one of the leading of its kind, certainly throughout the state and in throughout the Southeast and became a model for a number of other Institutions. We created an Environmental Science Program, the first of its kind in the state. Looking at the whole notion of helping minority youngsters get into the whole minority--in the whole Environmental Field and used in ways to address what, has emerge over the years. As another issue that is Environmental Racism, where much of toxic waste dump activity takes place in minority communities, that those become the expendable areas, and so that was another arena that we worked on. Our Teacher Education Program, now everybody recognizes the importance of identifying top notch teachers, well we had a program that was completely moribund, demoralized and the like. When I left there, it was at the top of its game. It was creating things that have since become kind of routine, such as we created something called the After Program, The Armed Forces Teacher Education for Retirees. We have Fort Jackson sitting right there, an awful lot of people retired from the Military out of Fort Jackson, tremendous resource. All they needed was--and many of them wanted to get into education, so we created a whole program and had a unit out at Fort Jackson where we created a cadre of black males, teachers for Elementary and Secondary schools. So doing a series of things like that, you know, good that we were able to accomplish much of that.