Motlow employees Estelle Davis and Michelle Griffith reconnect with their education

Estelle Davis, left, and Michelle Griffith, right

Estelle Davis, left, and Michelle Griffith, have a lot in common, including being Motlow State employees. The Motlow connection became even stronger when both recently became Motlow graduates.

When Motlow President Michael Torrence conferred degrees at the 48th Annual Commencement Ceremony in May that recognized the Smyrna campus students, Davis and Griffith were among the 300 students who received degrees. In his opening remarks Dr. Torrence paid special recognition to the Motlow duo.

“It is my honor to recognize two graduates who are also members of the Motlow family,” Torrence said. “Today they have achieved a goal they have worked for over the years. Please join me in recognizing and congratulating our peers, Ms. Estelle Davis and Ms. Michelle Griffith. Please stand.”

Both are secretaries; Davis is the secretary to the Smyrna campus dean, while Griffith is the secretary to the vice president for student affairs whose office is based on the Smyrna campus.  Both are non-traditional students who graduated Summa Cum Laude, having earned the highest academic honor, as well as members of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. Davis was earlier recognized as a Presidential Scholar for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average through her Motlow career. Griffith was not far behind, graduating with a 3.9 grade point average.

Although alike in many respects, their motivation to return to college was different. Davis needed to complete what she began years earlier. “I did this for me, and me only.” said Davis, “It was my turn.” Griffith experienced a major life change at the death of her husband. Having stayed at home for years, and seeing her children graduate college, she decided it was her time to graduate as well.

Both are thankful that Motlow gave them new opportunities, and a new lease on life. For both, Commencement is only the beginning.