Beloved ASU teacher passes away

November 6, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---He was loved and respected by his family, friends, fellow professors, and the students he taught, and today people are taking time to mourn the loss of Joseph Greene.

News 12 has learned he passed away at Trinity Hospital.

Professor Greene taught several business classes at Augusta State University. He has also served as chairman of the University System Board of Regents.

He was 67.

ASU mourns loss of professor

The Augusta State University family is saddened today at the loss of one of its own. Joseph D. Greene passed away Monday, Nov. 5, losing his battle with cancer at the age of 67.

Professor Greene formerly served as the Cree-Walker Professor of Business Administration and was the university’s Customer Service Champion since his appointment to that position in May of 2006.

“As an Augusta State alumnus, a Regent of the University System of Georgia, a business professor, and a friend, Joseph Greene was simply extraordinary—as he was in all aspects of his life,” says ASU President William A. Bloodworth, Jr. “He exuded integrity, respect for others, and modesty about his own accomplishments. On campus he was a fine teacher and a superb role model for all students—and for all of his colleagues.”

In addition to his work at ASU, Professor Greene conducted financial planning workshops, published articles on finance and economics, and presented motivational seminars. He serves as president of the Greene Financial Group, and is the author of two books, From Cotton Fields to Board Rooms and Money Matters.

Before joining Augusta State, Professor Greene served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Pilgrim Life Insurance Company. He came to Augusta College as a student in 1972 after completing a tour of duty in the U.S. Army. After graduating with a degree in business, he obtained a master’s degree from the University of Georgia, the only African American in its Risk Management program.

Professor Greene had served as a part-time instructor at ASU before joining his alma mater full time in 1991 as the Cree Walker Professor of Business Administration. In that role, Professor Greene had a huge influence on the lives of many ASU students.

“He offered absolutely irreplaceable qualities of character and experience to this university,” Dr. Bloodworth says. “With his death, he is gone from us much too soon, and we have suffered a terrible loss—but he gave so much for us to remember, cherish, and apply.”

Professor Greene served on the State Health Planning Board and served his home county of McDuffie on the Selective Service Draft Board, and the McDuffie County Board of Education, on which he served for more than 13 years. The governor appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in 1984, and he later became vice chair, then chair, the second African American to serve in that capacity.

His assistance with strategic planning for the University System improved minority accessibility. He also worked to increase funding for ASU and the Medical College of Georgia and was appointed to the Governor’s Education Review Commission and the Georgia Post Secondary Board.

He has served on numerous boards, including the ASU Foundation, First Bank of Georgia, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, St. Joseph Hospital, the CSRA Community Foundation, the Georgia Council on Economic Education, and the National Science Center Discovery.

A 20-year member of the Rotary Club of Augusta, he became the organization’s first African American president in 2005. Professor Greene’s civic-mindedness spanned beyond the boardroom. He demonstrated this on a daily basis, most notably in mentoring young people through the Boys and Girls Clubs, Norris and Thomson Elementary Schools, and many Augusta State students. He served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Springfield Baptist Church in Thomson, and worked tirelessly for the American Cancer Society.

Professor Greene earned many accolades, including being named a Distinguished Alumnus of both Augusta State and the University of Georgia, Outstanding Faculty Member at ASU, Business Person of the Year, Man of the Year, and countless others.

A wake is scheduled for 7 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 8 at Springfield Baptist Church in Thomson. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m., on Friday, Nov. 9 at the church. Burial will follow at the Westview Cemetery in Thomson. At the request of his family, a memorial service has been scheduled for 3 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 12 in ASU’s Maxwell Theatre. Professor Greene is survived by his wife, Barney Greene, his daughter, Cathy and his son, Joseph “David” Greene, Jr.

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