Ervin V. Griffin, Sr., Ed.D., is President Emeritus of the Halifax Community College (Weldon, NC) and was the first African American to serve in this capacity. He was the founding President of West Virginia State Community and Technical College, Institute, West Virginia. President Emeritus Griffin was also the first African American professor and administrator at Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Virginia. His career in higher education spans over 40 years.
Griffin earned his B.S. Degree in Teacher Education from Bluefield State College; M.S. Degree in College Student Personnel Services from Western Illinois University; Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Higher Education Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI); and the Doctorate of Education in Community College Education from VPI. He is also a graduate of Leadership Roanoke Valley sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce and Leadership West Virginia.
Griffin was exceptionally effective in resource development and earning HCC national recognition. HCC has received over 15 million dollars in local, state, and federal grant funding during his tenure. Some of the grants received were U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services, U.S. Department of Education Predominantly Black Institutions Formula and Competitive, MDC Healthy Places, Tech Hire, Turning Point Workforce Development, and Canon Foundation. In the areas of health sciences, HCC sponsored the NC Mission of Mercy free dental clinic for residents in the community in February of 2010. In a two-day period, residents received an estimated cost of $155,000 of free dental care.
President Emeritus Griffin sought and received $190,000 in earmark funding from Congressman G.K. Butterfield for HCC’s Allied Health Project to establish a state-of-the art on-site patient simulator for the training of Allied Health students in a virtual class setting. In 2010-2011 academic year, President Griffin sought and received an additional $148,000 in earmark funding from Congressman G. K. Butterfield to install a campus wide wireless internet system and to upgrade the technology in the Centre.
In 2016, HCC was the recipient of the Advancing Diversity Award given by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). In 2017, HCC was the recipient of the AACC Community College Safety Planning and Leadership Award. AACC has 1,200 community colleges that belong to this association. In October of 2016, HCC was also awarded the Southern Region Equity Award by the Association of Community College Trustees, which consists of more than 520 governing boards and over 6,500 trustees who govern public and private community, technical, and junior colleges across the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Through his leadership and after 10 years of diplomacy, HCC achieved consensus with the Town of Weldon and HCC Board of Trustees in July of 2016 to seek funding to build a second entrance/exit to the HCC campus community to enhance campus safety and welfare. HCC submitted a proposal to the Department of Transportation through our local house and senate delegation (Rep. Michael Wray, Senator Angela Bryant, & Senator Erica Smith-Ingram) to fund the new entrance/exit at a cost of $500,000. The funding was approved and the new entrance should be completed during the 2017-18 academic year.
Other notable accomplishments included HCC being ranked #12 in the Nation by Washington Monthly Magazine for community colleges with enrollments under 5,000. Two buildings on campus have been renamed after HCC’s first two presidents. In 2016, the college ranked fourth in the small college category with enrollment under 5,000 for the Digital Community College Survey Award. HCC successfully implemented the 100% Tobacco Free Policy passed by the Board of Trustees in August 2010. In addition, Griffin established the Annual American Indian Heritage Month, Prostate Awareness Day, Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Presidential Forums, International Day, and Black History Month programs.
Griffin was inducted into the North Carolina Community Action Association Hall of Fame for his exemplary leadership and dedication for the advancement of the quality of life for low-income North Carolinians in May of 2015. Halifax County Business Horizons awarded Dr. Griffin with the “Making a Difference Award” for his work in establishing the Roanoke Valley Early College on the Halifax Community College Campus. He received the Governors Living the Dream Award by the W.Va. Martin Luther King Holiday Commission and Governor Cecil Underwood. Griffin also received the Distinguished West Virginian Award from Governor Joe Manchin. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently awarded Dr. Griffin the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2017 for his exemplary service to the state of North Carolina. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. His fraternity selected him as the Outstanding National Alumni Brother of the Year at the Millennium Conference in Atlanta Georgia.
Griffin holds and has held membership in numerous local, state and national organizations including Roanoke Rapids Rotary International (Paul Harris Fellow), Mainstreet Roanoke Rapids, Halifax County Business Horizons, Halifax County Economic Development Commission, (ex officio), Choanoke Area Development Association Board of Directors (CADA),and the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is a Life member of the NAACP and a member of the Trustee Board at the First Baptist Church in Weldon, NC.
Dr. Griffin attributes his success to his parents, his faith, and his community. Even though his father (a coal miner) never graduated high school and his mother was a high school graduate, they both had a deep respect for the power of knowledge and education. Dr. Griffin is the father of an adult son Ervin V. Griffin, Jr., a 1998 communications graduate of Concord University, Athens, West Virginia.