Hayes "Osbie " Griffith

Profile Updated: April 11, 2012
Class Year: 1956
Spouse/Partner: Karen K. Griffith-Hedberg
Occupation: Chemistry Professor
Children: Daniel, born 1986, and Austin, born 1987
Cell phone:


About me/us (Hobbies, interests, life philosophy, etc.) :

After leaving Claremont High School, I enrolled in Pomona College and then after one year, transferred to U. of California, Riverside. They were just putting in lawns and planting trees! I graduated in 1960 from UCR with a B. A. in Chemistry, then received a Ph.D. in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1964. In 1965 I was awarded a National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in chemistry at Stanford University. In January 1966 I joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Oregon, and was advanced to full professor in 1972. This is the only job I have ever had, and I retired from full time service in 2003 and will finish my last teaching assignment in 2004. I am will remain active in volunteer work at the University of Oregon. Recently we moved from Eugene, Oregon to a small town (Ferndale WA) near the Canadian border to be close to our elder son, Daniel, and his wife, Flora.

MY PASSION: Raising funds for student fellowships (scholarships), especially graduate student scholarships. There are talented and eager young people in all countries. If we want the USA to have a bright future, we must provide educational opportunities and training for our talented and eager youth.

Who else in your family is a CHS Alum?

My sister, Gwendolyn Griffith (class of 1955) who married and changed her name to Gwendolyn G. Barlow. Sadly, she died of cancer in 2008. Gwen was my only sibling.

Favorite School Story:

My family moved around a lot as I was growing up. We had some great experiences, including living in a migrant workers shack in Pear Blossom, with one light bulb, no refrigerator, and traditional outdoor plumbing. We never lived in one place more than two years, so I did not develop socially. When I entered Claremont High School I was shy and introverted. Too many special people to list here helped me to develop social skills and come out of my shell while maintaining my after-school job (Can you guess what? A solitary trap line consisting of 25 gopher traps in orange groves near my home at 3800 North Gary Ave., La Verne). The Class of 1956 was great at welcoming everyone into activities, from the trivial (e.g. standing around Wayne Scherer’s car, sharing the concern over the drips in the maroon paint job, or trips to Mount Baldy) to the important (such as collectively meeting Ms. Hull’s expectations). I marveled and rooted for our football team and went to class events. I will always be thankful for these sharing and growing experiences.

What teacher inspired you the most & how has it affected your life?

Ms. Cornelia Hull of course had an impact on me, as she did on the lives of so many other students. I was a science student from the word go, so the other teachers that inspired me were science and math teachers and teachers of anything technical: Mr. James Bookhout (because he was so honest about his limited knowledge of chemistry), Mr. William Booth (an impressive mathematician), and Mr. Robert Papsdorf in the shop, among others.

Hayes "Osbie "'s Latest Interactions

Sep 14, 2023 at 1:33 AM
Sep 14, 2022 at 1:33 AM
Sep 14, 2021 at 1:33 AM
Sep 14, 2020 at 1:33 AM
Nov 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Very sad to lose her.  Gayleen was a wonderful person.  She provided unwavering strength and support of her husband, of nearly 50 years ,Bob Bertelson, son Rob and and especially of her handicapped daughter, Marina.


(Hayes Griffith, Class of 1956)

Nov 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Don Jacobs was one of my favorites in the class of 1955.  I remember him as strong, gentle and someone I could look up to.  He was also talented at drawing.  I enjoyed his company.


(O. Hayes Griffith, Class of 1956)

Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Hayes Griffith on the summit of Mt. Shuksan in northern Washington State. 2011 photo.