Nora Griffin-Shirley Gives to Keep Her Research Passion Alive

Spend a few minutes with Nora Griffin-Shirley, Ph.D., and you’ll start to think about the world in a different way.

A professor in the college of education, Griffin-Shirley is director of the Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities where she and her staff prepare professionals to work with children and adults with a wide range of visual and hearing impairments, including deaf-blindness.

Through Griffin-Shirley’s eyes, you begin to understand the unique challenges that everyday life brings to people who are deaf, blind or deaf-blind.

But it was Larry Hovey, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Education, who helped Griffin-Shirley see how she could leave a legacy that would continue to help people who are deaf, blind or deaf-blind lead independent lives.

“As interim dean, Dr. Hovey talked about the importance of telling our story through giving and shared how he was making a planned gift of his own to Texas Tech,” said Griffin-Shirley. “We had just established the Sowell center in Dr. Sowell’s memory, and for me it was an attractive time to invest in the center’s future.”

Griffin-Shirley has made a planned gift of $37,500 that will establish an endowment to support the ongoing education and research efforts of the Sowell center.

Planned gifts provide an opportunity to impact the future of Texas Tech University, and each gift can be customized to meet an individual’s specific estate planning goals.

For Griffin-Shirley, investing in the future of the Sowell center is one way she can make sure that the things she cares most about are passed on to a new generation of Red Raiders.

“If you have a passion you’re going to do whatever you can to keep it alive,” said Griffin-Shirley. “My passion is to make the world a little bit better place for someone who’s visually impaired. That’s why I give, because I strongly believe in what we do.”

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