Derrick Griffith – Killed in the Amtrak Train Accident in Philadelphia!

Derrick Griffith

Dear Commons Community,

It is with a deeply saddened heart that I inform you that one of our students, Derrick Griffith, was killed on Monday in the Amtrak train accident outside Philadelphia. Derrick was also the Acting Dean for Student Services at Medgar Evers College, and the former principal of CUNY Prep.

I had the pleasure of knowing Derrick and served on his dissertation committee with Juan Battle and Nick Michelli.  He successfully defended his dissertation in January and was to receive his hood in two weeks. The picture above of Derrick with his mother was taken moments after he passed his oral defense.

Derrick was a fine individual, a dedicated father, and a first-rate scholar.   We extend our deepest sympathies to his family. All of us who had the pleasure of working with him will miss his easy smile and demeanor.

May he rest in peace!



  1. My sincerest condolences. I’m reminded of the saying “Close but no cigar” is there anyway he could be saluted with a honorary Doctorate presented to his family by the Urban Ed program. I would love to be in attendance and show solidarity to a fallen comrade.

    • Diane,

      Derrick has successfully defended his dissertation, met all the requirements, and has earned the Ph.D. It is the ceremonial graduation and receipt of the hood that will be held in two weeks.