Vicksburg, Miss. (WJTV) — The Alcorn State University family gathered in Vicksburg Saturday to say their final goodbyes to long-time band director Samuel Griffin.
To many people at Alcorn, Griffin wasn’t just a band director — he was a father figure. Annette Jones-Baskin is one of Griffin’s former students, “He’s been like a mentor, father figure, role model. He was a whole lot to me so he gave me the opportunity to go to college because I was from a family that couldn’t afford to send me to a university.”
Throughout his nearly 50 year career at Alcorn, Griffin provided dozens of students with scholarships and promising futures.
“He put quite a few people through school,” says former student Keith Thompson. “And if it wouldn’t have been for my band scholarship I don’t know if I would have even gone to school.”
Jeffrey Knight agrees, “The scholarships that he gave over the years, from all walks of life, venture out and get different careers and he was always behind them as long as you did a positive thing about it. He was always there for you.”
Griffin is best known for giving the marching band it’s nickname, Dyn-O-Mite.
Shortly after Griffin retired in 2012, the band hall at ASU was named after him. It’s something his Alcorn family considers just a small gseture to show their graititude for the years he gave to the school.
“Just showing people comradery and family because the band was a family,” says Thompson. “He treated everyone like a family. It’s like brothers and sisters. He taught everybody how to be individuals.”