- Merlene (Tina) Grayson grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and was a graduate of Cass Technical High School where she excelled in math and science. She relocated to Jackson with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Graham and Victoria Allen, and three younger siblings in 1962 when she was 18 years old. During that time she became a student at the former Jackson Junior College, where she ultimately earned two associate degrees, one in general studies and another in applied sciences, while also working two part-time jobs to fund her education. It was at the Junior College that she met her future husband Henry N. Grayson.
- With degree in hand, Merlene was accepted into a six-month internship program at the original W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital, in Jackson. Upon successfully passing the radiography registry in 1966, she became the first black registered radiographer in Jackson County and was the only person of color with that distinction until 1995.
- Today, Merlene remains the only African-American registered radiographer employed at Allegiance Hospital. After 45 years in the field, working with the adults and children at the hospital continues to be her passion.
- Merlene and her husband have raised two successful adult children, Alan (Anne) Grayson and Catherine (Avis) Roper. She has four beautiful grandchildren, Miles and Kendall Grayson, and Grayson and Sydney Roper, who are the joys of her life!
- In addition to spending as much time as possible with her beautiful grandchildren, she loves to travel and spend time with her husband and children.
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.”
– Jesse Jackson