Congressman Griffith addresses students’ questions at Davis College Global Capitalism lecture
U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith served as guest speaker November 7 at the Davis College of Business and Economics Global Capitalism Lecture Series, sponsored by BB&T.
Griffith, who represents Virginia’s 9th District, briefly addressed issues important to Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth, particularly healthcare and telemedicine, before spending most of his time answering questions posed by Radford University students.
Following the talk, Davis College student Brandon Adams, a senior finance major from Suffolk, Virginia, posed to the congressman a series of questions submitted by faculty and students from Davis College. Many of those questions focused on healthcare costs and needs for rural areas, while others addressed retaining talented workers in Southwest Virginia, climate and solar energy, and gun control.
Once he addressed students’ questions, Griffith answered a couple of audience questions that also centered on gun control, as well as mental health reform.
Davis College Dean Joy Bhadury, Ph.D., called it an “honor and a pleasure” to host the congressman as the speaker for the lecture.
“Congressman Griffith’s thoughtful responses to all the questions, and discussion of various ideas being debated in Congress, were sincerely appreciated by all of us in the Davis College. He addressed some of the salient societal issues being faced by us in Southwest Virginia,” Bhadury said. “We are very grateful to him for having taken the time from his schedule to visit and converse with us.”
Griffith is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and was named to its subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, as well as the subcommittees on health and energy for the 116th Congress. In February, he was named to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Before his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Griffith was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 8th District from 1994-2011. He was elected House Majority Leader in 2000.
Griffith is a graduate of Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, Virginia, Emory & Henry College and the Washington and Lee University School of Law. He practiced law in Southwest Virginia for almost three decades.
A select group of Davis College Fellows students was picked by faculty to attend the event. Many of them met with and asked questions of Griffith for an hour before the luncheon. One of those students was Erica Backus, a freshman from Louisa, Virginia, who said the pre-luncheon session was an “honor and a blessing,” and typical of experiences for students within the Davis College Fellows program.
“We get to meet a lot of business professionals, who are high up in their companies and are very successful,” Backus said. “Many of them were in my place – a college student – and they come back to campus to spread their wisdom to us. And, today, I got to meet a congressman and talk to him personally.”
The Davis College Fellows program offers distinctive business students access to resources, guidance and opportunities for experiences in business acumen and inquiry, professional development, leadership and global citizenship.
“These opportunities, like the one today, definitely make me feel like the people in the Davis College are watching out for me and want me to succeed,” Backus said. “That’s definitely the feeling I get in the Fellows program and through events like this one today with the congressman.”
Griffith is among the many eminent speakers invited to share their ideas at the semi-annual symposium, which is designed to encourage and inspire thought and discussion about capitalism, the tenets of free enterprise and the best practices of successful businesses and organizations. The Global Capitalism Lecture Series is underwritten by a gift from BB&T to the Davis College.
In addition to Griffith, the Davis College BB&T Global Capitalism Lecture Series events have included:
- Vice President Sonya Ravindranath Waddell of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond
- Jamie Webster ’98, senior director at the Boston Consultant Group
- Cheryl Anderson, U.S. Agency for International Development
- David Kelly, Atlas Society Founder and Chief Intellectual Officer
- Jennifer Grossman, CEO of the Atlas Society
- John Allison, retired chairman and CEO at BB&T, retired president and CEO of the Cato Institute
- Barry DuVal, president and CEO of Virginia Chamber of Commerce
- Brady Deato, BIFAD chair and chancellor emeritus of University of Missouri
- Ann Cudd, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Kansas
- Russell S. Sobel, visiting scholar in entrepreneurship in the School of Business Administration at The Citadel
- Steve Pearlstein, Pulitzer-Prize winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post
- Christopher Coyne, director of graduate studies of the Department of Economics at George Mason University
- Hamid Ghanadan, founder and president of the Linus Group
- Mary Rose Carosia and Theresa Werner, Standard and Poors (S&P) Capital IQ
- Kevin Daley, former vice president at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency and founder of Communispond
- Faye Gilbert, former COBE dean
- Jason Bingham, vice president, central territory of North America, for Ingersoll Rand
- John Allison, former BB&T chair and CEO
- Keith Shields, senior statistician and analytic development lead for Marketing Associates in Detroit.