Creating a Lasting Legacy

Jane Griffith ’43 has supported the education of nearly 100 Bucknellians — and counting
by Kate Williard
As Jane Griffith ’43 approaches her 102nd birthday, she can reflect on how many lives she made richer thanks to her philanthropy. After obtaining her degree in English, Griffith’s love of language led to a journalism career at Time magazine. Upon her retirement, she turned her focus toward helping others, which led her to endow three scholarships and a faculty fellowship at Bucknell. Each fund is named to honor the memory of her family — her parents, and a niece and a nephew, both Bucknell grads.

Her most recent gift — the Virginia Reed Demoreuille ’73 Memorial Scholarship — will support students in the College of Arts & Sciences and is named for Griffith’s niece, who received her degree in art & art history. “It means a lot to be able to make this difference for students,” she says. Indeed, Griffith’s gifts have been a catalyst for success for many Bucknellians. Here, three recipients of the Roy & Ariel Griffith Memorial Scholarship (Griffith’s first scholarship, created in memory of her parents to support pre-med students) reflect on the impact of her generosity.

black and white photo of Jane Griffith '43
Photo: Courtesy of Jane Griffith ‘43
Jane Griffith ‘43 on Bucknell’s campus as a student.
“Jane’s scholarship made it possible for me to attend Bucknell. Because of that support, I’ve been able to bring life-saving and potentially curative cell therapies to patients suffering from debilitating and deadly diseases around the world. With an interest in paying it forward, I recently established scholarships for students attending my high school alma mater to continue their education at Bucknell or in a STEM field.”
— John Tomtishen ’11, vice president of operations, Cellares Corporation

“Since I was 4 years old, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but growing up in a small, blue-collar town, I wasn’t always sure it would be possible. I am confident that my path to medicine would have been significantly more difficult without Jane’s generous support. Receiving a financial aid package that included her scholarship is the reason I am able to live out my childhood dream.”
— Elizabeth Barrall Werley ’02, M.D., associate professor, department of emergency medicine at Penn State College of Medicine; residency program director, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

“My first year at Bucknell was a bit of a rough transition. I remember when I got Jane’s scholarship, I felt as though I was really seen as a whole person with a future. That has made a huge difference in my life. Today, I’m committed to improving women’s health and reducing maternal mortality, especially in minority populations.”
— Nayo S. Matthews Williams ’08, M.D., maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Valley Perinatal Services