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The African American Trail Project at Tufts University A Walking Tour

Anita Griffey Bench

The Green at Packard Avenue

Tufts alumnae Lena Bruce (E '92) and Anita Griffey (J' 90) were successful students, committed leaders and sisters of Delta Sigma Theta, a historically black sorority dedicated to community service. Tragically, both women died within two years of each other in the early 1990s. The Tufts community, led by their fellow sorority sisters and Africana Center peers, along with their respective families chose to honor their memory and legacy with the dedication of two separate benches.

Anita Griffey came to Tufts as a second semester transfer student from Atlanta. She was the primary breadwinner for her family and among the first in her family to attend college. The president of Tufts' African American Society and an officer with the student chapter of the NAACP, she had accepted a position with Traveler's Insurance Co. after graduation and was planning to user her salary to take care of her mother who suffered from schizophrenia. A month shy of graduation, she died in a car crash.

The Lena D. Bruce memorial bench sits outside of the Africana Center, Capen House; and the Anita Griffey memorial bench is just outside Olin Center. The benches were re-dedicated in April, 2015. In 2017, the Tufts Alumni Association, the Tufts Black Alumni Association, the Tufts Career Center and the Africana Center collaboratively established the Bruce-Griffey Leadership and Diversity Internship Fund, which provides a stipend to fund internships in the non-profit sector for current Tufts students who are leaders on campus and have demonstrated a commitment to public service.