Donald Griffin

  • Journalism
  • Political Science
  • Class of 2017
White Oak, Texas
Career Goal:
Attorney for a media organization

Talking His Way to the Top

Donald Griffin is using his gift of gab to make his mark on the TCU debate team and to pave his way toward a successful law career.

Dressed to the nines in a two-button suit and holding a leather padfolio, Donald Griffin already looks every inch the lawyer. But for now, he’s using his fierce debate skills to win oratory competitions with the TCU Forensics team. Griffin is also battling a packed schedule as a journalism and political science double-major and design editor of the Skiff x 360 newspaper.

Donald is a doer.

Raised by his grandmother in a small town in East Texas, he was president of his high school debate team and a gold medal winner at three state oratory competitions.

“Debate has been a major staple of my life for the past four years,” says Donald. “My first semester, I focused on my work with student media and decided not to join the team — but I quickly started to miss the thrill of debate. I missed the competition.”

So Donald dusted off his suit and joined TCU Forensics, the university’s competitive speech and debate team. In addition to honing his skills at numerous tournaments, he was one of three brave debaters chosen to take on the Irish Times national debate champions in a special head-to-head event.

Despite his busy debate schedule, Donald remains active in student media as the design editor for the TCU student newspaper, Skiff x 360.

“When you really think about it, journalism and debate are very similar,” says Donald. “Both require you to use your voice to inform the public and make your ideas heard. It’s just that debate is oral and journalism is written.”

After college, Griffin hopes to work in the journalism field while he attends law school. He says that the activities he has chosen at TCU uniquely qualify him for that path.

“Debate requires that you’re quick on your feet, informed on global affairs and able to articulate logical arguments to the public. Those traits are vital to becoming a successful attorney. So is crafting a successful written argument, which I learned through journalism.”

Eventually, Donald wants to be an attorney for a media organization.

“It would combine my greatest passions: my love for journalism and my love for law and oratory,” he says. “I believe I was blessed with the gift of communication, and it seems foolish to let it go to waste.”