((There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Rip Griffin on June, 27 at 1 p.m. at Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock.
In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials are Lubbock Christian University, Texas Tech University, and the Children’s Home of Lubbock.))
B. R. “Rip” Griffin, Lubbock businessman, philanthropist, and Lubbock Christian University trustee, passed away on June 7, 2017 at the age of 87.
“LCU has lost its number one champion. The city of Lubbock lost its number one citizen. We all lost a great brother,” said J.W. Hamby, who served with Griffin as a fellow LCU trustee.
Griffin owned a truck stop in Lubbock that grew over the years to become a full trucking and petroleum business spanning the western United States.
He was a committed citizen of the Lubbock community and served on numerous local boards. He was especially invested at LCU, Texas Tech University, and the Children’s Home of Lubbock, generously donating wisdom and financial resources and assisting them in their service to young people.
Griffin became a member of the LCU Board of Trustees in 1975, serving the university with dedication and distinction for 42 years. He provided leadership and counsel to the board, as well as five LCU presidents.
"During my time as president, Rip Griffin was not only a loyal, faithful, and effective member of the Board of Trustees, he was a friend to me,” said Dr. Steven Lemley, fourth president of LCU. “His willingness to meet and share his counsel with me on matters related--and some unrelated--to the university was more valuable than I can express. His understanding of the 'way the world works' always enabled the presidents he worked with to make their efforts more effective. I thought of him, not only in an organizational sense, but also as a friend. I will always think of him when I consider those years."
Griffin and his family gave the lead gift for the Rip Griffin Center at LCU, affectionately called “The Rip” by students.
Built in 2000, the Rip Griffin Center is an indoor arena, home to the Chap and Lady Chap basketball teams and the Lady Chap volleyball team and used by the Lubbock Sports Authority and the Lubbock community. The Rip also houses athletic training facilities and coach’s offices.
Griffin’s involvement with the athletics program earned him a place in the LCU Athletics Hall of Honor; he was inducted for meritorious service in 2006.
“Rip Griffin changed the face of LCU Athletics forever,” said LCU athletics director Paul Hise. “His interest and passion in collegiate athletics and for student athletes led to the investment of his time, energy, wisdom, and financial resources.”
Hise continued, “Rip was a kind and generous man who always shared words of encouragement with the numerous coaches, assistant coaches, staff, and student-athletes during his four decades of involvement with the university. He will be greatly missed, but his significant influence on our programs will continue far into the future.”
In addition to serving as a hub for LCU’s intercollegiate athletics program, the Rip Griffin Center hosts undergraduate commencement ceremonies.
Dr. Ken Jones, current chancellor and fifth president of LCU, considered Griffin a dear friend. “Rip Griffin was courageous, strong, and generous man with a tender heart,” said Jones. “It is more than fitting that ‘The Rip Griffin Center’ bears his name as a tribute to his life contribution to our university.”
In recognition of Griffin’s distinguished service, the LCU flag will fly at half-staff on the day of his memorial service, Tuesday, June 27.
“Rip Griffin has been a key part of the university’s growth and development, and his legacy will live on at LCU for many generations to come,” said LCU President Tim Perrin. “We give thanks for the Rip Griffin Center that bears his name and for all the ways, large and small, known and unknown, that he provided vital support and leadership to the university. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.”