Building the Future: Randall “Rand” Griffin ’66
Throughout his career, Randall “Rand” Griffin ’66 has been a builder.
“I like to build things—companies, people. I like to stretch their horizons,” he says. “The joy really has been the management of people and creating a strategy, then implementing that strategy—not individually—but through the teams that you build, the leadership that you provide, and the motivation that you encourage.”
His 34-year career included stints as VP of Development for EuroDisney Development in Paris and as President and CEO of Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) in Columbia, Maryland, where he directed the development of more the $3.8 billion in real estate assets. He retired in 2012.
Griffin says his proudest achievements as a builder was “completing the non-theme-park portion of EuroDisney on time and under budget, despite numerous changes and challenges. The second was leading the combination of COPT and Constellation Real Estate from a small obscure REIT, after our September 1998 merger, into a nationally recognized powerhouse.”
He says the foundation for his career as a builder was laid at Ohio Wesleyan, where he majored in economics and English. He remembers challenging classes with faculty such as English Professor Libby Reed. “She gave me the communication skills that I still use in my business life today,” he says. Griffin was instrumental in raising funds for the Libuse L. Reed Endowed Professorship, announced in May 2003.
Griffin grew to value a liberal arts mentality, lifelong learning, and giving back to the community.
Throughout his career, and especially since retiring in 2012, he has devoted much of his time and talent to fulfilling that philanthropic spirit. Griffin has served on numerous boards, including the National Aquarium, the Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation, and the Maryland Business Roundable for Education. He also is a commissioner on the Maryland State Arts Council.
Griffin was delighted to recognize many faces when he returned to OWU for his 50th class reunion this year. “That is the beauty of a small school,” he says.
During Alumni Weekend, he was awarded Ohio Wesleyan’s Distinguished Achievement Citation, the Alumni Association’s highest honor. A member of the President’s Circle and the Tower Society, Griffin was honored and surprised to receive the prestigious award.
“I don’t think of it as necessarily my award alone,” he says. “It is as much an award for the people that have helped me along the way.”
– Julia Stone ’16