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Claibourne Eugene Griffin ’51

Published in Oct. 8, 1997, issue

Clay died May 30, 1997, at his home in Akron, Ohio, from the effects of a massive stroke in Sept. 1992.

Clay was dean emeritus of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences and professor emeritus of chemistry at the U. of Akron. A man of many parts, he formed the university's molecular spectroscopy labora-tory and had a major role in founding its College of Polymer Science and Engineering. He was a language scholar, a consummate raconteur, and a master of aphorisms. He also had an outstanding collection of picture postcards. He served in the Marines and the Navy.

Clay came to Princeton as a cum laude graduate of Eastern H.S. [Washington, D.C.]. On our campus he was a chemistry major, in the glee club and band, and president of Campus Club. He roomed with Joe Barrett, Bill Fuellhart, Jim Farrell, and Dan Sullivan. Sally, Clay's wife, says, "His stroke paralyzed his entire left side. He lived in a wheelchair in great pain. He was a good man, loved by many. He will be greatly missed." His standing-room only memorial service tes-tified to that; Lou Emanuel represented the class.

Clay is also survived by stepsons Jeffrey and Michael Olah, and granddaughter Jennifer Copsey. The class's deep sympathy goes to all of them.

The Class of 1951

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