There is a constant smiling face that greets Mississippi College students who enter the Commons: a kind “How are you doing, baby?” that comes with the iced coffee. It is the lovable and energetic Rose Griffin that brightens up the days of those who come to study or hang out in the new student center.
Griffin, who will have worked for Mississippi College in Campus Dining Services for ten years as of next month, is not only MC students’ favorite barista but also a presence that adds life to the campus.
Griffin grew up in Columbus, Miss., where her grandmother raised her and six of her ten siblings. She graduated from high school in Columbus and later got married at age 21. Griffin has one son, Julio, 36, who received his Masters in Health Administration from Mississippi College.
She also has one granddaughter, Carissa, who is 11, as well as a 13-year-old great niece, Taletha, who she helps raise when she is not working.
She worked for Jitney Jungle for 20 years before a friend suggested she apply for a position at Mississippi College. Griffin was hired on the spot and started working with Dining Services in the Caf.
She eventually moved to Hampstead’s and then Jazzman’s, later known as Tuscany’s. Now, she has her own little space in the Commons. Griffin said she misses being at Tuscany’s, but she enjoys the new location and thinks of it as a good change.
Many MC students were hoping that the new student center would be named after Griffin. The title was established as the Commons, but many are pushing for the coffee area to be referred to as “Rose’s Corner.”
Even if the name will not be official, Griffin said that she is honored the students want to name a place after her and that it is the thought that counts.
“I love what I do,” Griffin said. “It’s been a blessing meeting the kids at this college. I love them, and they love me.”
It is no doubt that Griffin has a large fan club on campus. They come just to say hi or see her contagious grin, even if they are not buying anything. Many students have even taken to calling her “Momma Rose.” In addition, Griffin was awarded Faculty of the Year for the 2008-2009 school year by Civitan Men’s Club.
“Ms. Rose is a great personality to see in the morning,” said Gamal Williams, a senior at MC. “She’s concerned about you. Her face is one that you associate with MC.”
Dakota Bibbs, also an MC senior, agreed. “I love Ms. Rose. She is an essential part of the MC community. I literally cannot think of my Mississippi College experience without thinking of Ms. Rose.”
The sweet-natured barista explained that she takes on each day with a positive attitude. “I get up with a smile and keep moving,” Griffin said. She also expressed that no one should ever underestimate the power of a smile. “It doesn’t matter who’s having a bad day, when you smile, it changes that person’s mood.”
Ms. Rose will continue to smile and keep us going with her supply of coffee and snacks, as well as warm our hearts with her loving personality. Students want her to know that she is appreciated and that they see her as a beautiful part of the MC family.
– Abbie Walker, News Editor