Hamline News


Science Hero

 Robert Green's gift helps prepare students for future


By Gail Nosek MFAC '12

You might say that Robert Green ’57 MALS ’96, a computer enthusiast from the days when computers filled entire rooms, was decades ahead of his time. Now, his $1.4 million estate gift to establish the Robert E. Green Distinguished Professorship in Computational Science Fund will prepare future Hamline students to become innovators in the digital realm.

“Robert Green’s gift will help bolster Hamline’s distinctive programs in math and the sciences as well as the newly developed business analytics concentration in the School of Business,” said Interim Provost John Matachek.

Green, who had hearing loss, transferred from the University of Minnesota to Hamline, where he said he felt accepted and emotionally supported.

The first in his family to attend a four-year college, Green earned a chemistry degree from Hamline in 1957, then worked as a chemist for the Environmental Protection Agency and a researcher for the University of Minnesota’s Bureau of Mines. In his spare time, he built computers and learned coding, convinced of the power of technology to change the world. Green returned to Hamline in his 70s for a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. “Lifelong learning is renewal,” he told Hamline magazine in 2003, adding that “the prestige of graduating from Hamline embellishes your soul.”

Green’s father, John, who had an eighth-grade education and worked in facilities services at 3M, had dreamed of a better life for his children. Green used the 3M stock his father gave him to give back to the university that made that better life possible.

“Education is seen as essential in our family,” Robert’s brother, Tom, said. “It opens the doors to possibility.”

Green, 91, died last November in Saint Paul. His estate gift and the lifelong gifts he gave to Hamline ensure that future generations of students have better lives as well.