Home » Featured News » Former NFL Player and New EMBA Graduate Robert Griffith Offers Inspirational Story Featured on WCBS-TV New York

Former NFL Player and New EMBA Graduate Robert Griffith Offers Inspirational Story Featured on WCBS-TV New York

Graduate | Jun 12, 2023 |

As Robert Griffith, a former NFL player, walked across the stage at the Gabelli School of Business Graduate Diploma Ceremony on May 23 to receive an Executive M.B.A. (EMBA), a huge grin spread across his face. Like many graduates of this executive-level program, for him the ceremony marked the culmination of all of the hard work required to earn his degree, but it also amplified his own determination in moving forward at the age of 52, in his life and career. Although he has faced challenges—both personal and professional—throughout his life, he summoned the grit and resilience to move forward and pursue his dreams, which ultimately led to earning an EMBA at the Gabelli School.

His story was so inspirational that Griffith was asked to tell it during an interview with WCBS-TV New York.

Watch the Interview Here.

During the segment, which aired after the Diploma Ceremony, Griffith described his journey from playing football professionally to ultimately pursuing a career as a successful business professional and supporter of young people in acquiring a college education. He came from a humble background, but never allowed the obstacles he faced to stand in his way. As an undersized, late bloomer, he always wanted to play football but did not receive a highly coveted college football scholarship. Instead, he was a walk-on for the San Diego State team and had to work multiple jobs to support himself through college. This, however, did not deter him. When he graduated, he was not drafted by the NFL, nor was he expected to have a long career. Yet somehow, through sheer determination and proving himself over and over again, he played for 13 years in the NFL, mostly for the Minnesota Vikings, and the Cleveland Browns, where he was team captain for over a decade and twice named All Pro.

After retiring from football, Griffith launched a successful business career. He is now managing director of the Purple 24 Fund, a minority owned global project fund, and also is the founder of the Robert Griffith Foundation, which provides college scholarships to underprivileged high school students. Inspired by the impact his mother had teaching in his community when he was growing up, education became one of the “core tenets” of his upbringing, and has informed his choices as a leader in both sports and business. He is truly an inspiration to the classmates with whom he graduated as well as those who will follow in his footsteps.

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