Griffin resigns post on Board of Governors

Helen Griffin Service Award
Helen Griffin, right, receives a Service Award from Kathy Boellstorff, Board chairperson, during the Dec. 15 meeting of the Board of Governors.

Helen Griffin, a member of the Board of Governors of Southeast Community College since January 1993, resigned her seat during Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting.

The Board accepted Griffin’s resignation “with regret,” and when Board Chairperson Kathy Boellstorff presented Griffin with a service award, she was given a standing ovation.

“I really hate leaving the Board,” said Griffin, citing health reasons. “We’ve done some fantastic things, and I expect some more out of you guys.”

Griffin, 79, represented District 5 in SCC’s 15-county service area. That district is situated in Lancaster County and encompasses a large portion of the Lincoln metropolitan area. She is the current Board treasurer, and Boellstorff appointed Jim Garver to fill that role until Board officer elections are held at the January meeting.

During Griffin’s 23 years on the Board she served as its treasurer four years and chairperson for 12 years. She recalled a few big decisions in which she was involved.

“Gallup had done a study and said that we needed to offer classes in downtown Lincoln,” Griffin said. “So we purchased the first floor of the energy building (at 1111 O St.). Then we acquired the Gallup building at 68th and O and added the Entrepreneurship Center building. Those were exciting moments for all of us.”

She also talked about working with former SCC President Dr. Jack Huck.

“I was real pleased with Dr. Huck,” Griffin said. “He had been on the Lincoln Campus for 17 years, so it made a lot of sense to appoint him as president of the College. It ran smoothly. He knew all the facets of the institution.”

Huck retired as SCC president in June 2014.

Griffin said she’s had a simple philosophy as a Board member.

“Let’s do what we can for students,” she said. “They are our most important asset. We need to keep tuition affordable.”

Griffin’s work as a member of the Board of Governors was recognized by the Nebraska Community College Association in 1998 when she received the Governor’s Award from that organization.

Her community service record is extensive and includes being president of the Senior Foundation of Lincoln & Lancaster County and as a member of the Board of the Heartland Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Cornhusker Boy Scouts, Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation, Lincoln Woman’s Club, Homestead Girl Scouts, Better Business Bureau, Community Women’s Club, Sunrise Kiwanis, the Optimist Club of Lincoln (past president and Lt. Governor of Zone 6 for the Nebraska District), and the Northeast Sertoma Club. She received the Optimist Club of Lincoln’s Optimist of the Year Award in 1999.

Griffin graduated from Cortland High School in 1953 and worked as a legal secretary for the Department of Insurance, state of Nebraska, and later as office manager, business manager and human resources administrator. She retired in 2000.

Griffin had one year remaining on her four-year term on SCC’s Board. Boellstorff said the process to fill Griffin’s seat would begin in January.

“I’ve enjoyed my time, and I hate to leave because (SCC President Dr.) Paul (Illich) has some great things planned for the College,” Griffin said.

“We have such a good Board,” she added. “It’s thoughtful in its decision making. It looks at all sides of an issue. Members do a good job in teamwork. But what I value most is there are no secrets. There is no micromanaging going on. When you hire a president, you let him do his job.”

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For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing
402-323-3401
sosterthun@southeast.edu