Susan Griffin '80 - WCVB-TV Boston

 

Expect the unexpected.

Roll with the changes.

Take chances.

Those philosophies have helped Susan Griffin '80 rise to the top of Boston's competitive television news industry. But that isn't exactly the path Griffin envisioned when she arrived on the Curry College campus in the fall of 1976.

"I came to Curry for a liberal arts education and because I wanted to become an elementary school teacher," Griffin told the entering Class of 2016 during their new student convocation. Shortly after arriving in Milton, however, Griffin took her first chance, deciding to get involved in Curry's student-run radio station (WMLN-FM).

"(The General Manager) encouraged me to join the WMLN staff and invited me to anchor afternoon newscasts.  His invitation appealed to me; I was seeking ways to fill my time between classes and wanted to be involved in something new.  I took a chance and became an afternoon news anchor, and I never looked back."

Griffin has never looked back because she's always moving forward, ready for her next adventure and challenge. She found one shortly after graduating from Curry-while working at a small radio station in Brockton. Shortly after starting, Griffin was alone behind the microphone-in the middle of a blinding Nor'easter.

"If it had not been for my training at Curry and the confidence I gained at school, I might have panicked," Griffin explained. "Instead, I had a ball. I played a little music-my kind of music. I called the mayor and city councilors. I put them on the air and we talked about the storm. Before long, I had people calling in with weather updates and requesting songs. I was in charge, whether I wanted to be or not.  So I made up my mind to take charge and have fun with it."

Griffin eventually parlayed that experience into a six-year news writing career at WEEI-FM in Boston.  After a one-year stint as Director of Communications for the Metropolitan District Commission, Griffin moved to WCVB-TV-where she will mark her 25th anniversary in 2013.

Even with that career stability, Griffin has learned to excel when life takes exciting and unexpected turns. After joining WCVB, Griffin spent 24 years as an assignment editor. But, in the spring of 2012 she was offered a new opportunity with the station's web staff. She was supposed to train for two months, then fill-in for a colleague who was having a baby. As Griffin explains, plans changed quickly, "My expectant colleague gave birth-5 weeks early. The luxury of training was gone, and my work as a web editor began immediately. Life is so unpredictable, I was reminded-and you need to be able to roll with the changes."

Griffin says Curry helped her prepare for those moments when everything changes unexpectedly, "It is at Curry that I learned to take chances and risks. For the first time, I was on my own and calling the shots. I went on an adventure and let my heart be my guide."

Today, that connection to Curry is now a family affair. Griffin's son Andrew is now a senior at the College. Griffin says her son feels at home on the campus, but he has also taken his mother's own advice and stepped outside his comfort zone, "At Curry he has been challenged as a student and a member of the Theatre and the WMLN staff. Andrew has studied under a deeply talented faculty, and received the support of a committed and caring staff, and so will you."

Griffin is urging other Curry students to take the same path, "Curry has so much to offer and I encourage you to dive into this adventure, to become involved and engaged in the college community. You would be hard-pressed to find another liberal arts college which offers the many choices for major areas of study, and the opportunity to tailor your major to suit your interests."

Ultimately, Griffin says Curry students have the chance to shape their own future-just like she did. As she told the incoming Class of 2016 during Curry's New Student Convocation recently, "Reach out to others and get involved. We all have something to offer. Life is an adventure."

 
 
 
 

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