Bobby Griffin earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Willamette in 1959, and continued studies at Oregon State University, The Center for Graduate Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Department of Public Health. He earned his master’s in radiological sciences in 1966.

Bobby did research in a variety of areas involving gamma ray spectroscopy and energy conversion for General Electric and Battelle and McDonnel Douglas Research labs in Richland, Washington. His invention of a nuclear battery sparked the interest of Medtronic, Inc. and he began his 25-year career there in 1973. Over the course of his career, he rose to become executive vice president president of the pacemaker business. He has served on a variety of boards.

Barbara Griffin graduated in 1959 with a major in psychology and English and later completed a degree in nursing at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. She then worked as a medical/surgical nurse at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Pasco. After moving to Minneapolis, she specialized in in-patient psychiatric care at Golden Valley Health Center. She earned a master’s degree in counseling and psychiatric services (1983) from St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota and continued her career in out-patient counseling services. She also participated in numerous volunteer opportunities.

In 2003, following a few trips to Tanzania, the Griffins founded the nonprofit Dodoma Tanzania Health Development (DTHD), and co-founded Dodoma Christian Medical Center Hospital (DCMC). Bobby also helped establish a supporting business, Dodoma Innovation and Production Company, which makes “Asante Beverages.”

In 2017, DCMC served more than 95,000 patients in Central Tanzania. The medical center provides a range of in-patient, out-patient, dental services and community health outreach programs. The Tanzania Ministry of Health has recognized DCMC as the best medical facility in the region with a 3-Star Rating, and the center is not only a referral hospital, but a model for sustainable healthcare in Africa.

The Griffins married on Valentine’s day 1959. They have three children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Barbara '59 and Bobby Griffin '59
Willamette University

Alumni and Parent Engagement

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