Green, Cecil Howard, 1900-2003

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Cecil H. and Ida M. Green are best known for philanthropy. Beginning in 1950 they gave millions of dollars to various institutions and organizations, and by 1988 their donations amounted to more than $150 million. In addition to financial gifts, they served as chairpersons on various fund raising events that helped generate many more millions of dollars from other donors.

The Greens were not always millionaires. They started out on a modest income, and through hard work and perseverance slowly amassed their fortune. In fact, Cecil's first job out of graduate school paid him $55.00 a week. It was not until he and Ida purchased one fourth interest in Geophysical Services, Inc. for $75,000. This would eventually make them millionaires. The remainder of GSI was purchased by three other company employees: Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and H. Bates Peacock. The four partners' original investment totaled $300,000.

The purchase of GSI was completed two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Green wanted to pursue government contracts to help the war effort, and this proved to be a very successful endeavor. So successful in fact, that contract work for the government far outpaced the work done by GSI. Texas Instruments was formed as a result of this and became the parent company of GSI. On October 1, 1953 Texas Instruments common stock was offered publicly, opening at $5.25 a share. TI stock rose to $210 per share making Green and his partners millionaires.

When Ida and Cecil decided to purchase a quarter of GSI, Ida said that if they ever got rich she wanted them to be philanthropists. With the rise in TI stock, Ida's dream became a reality. The question was how to effectively donate money to help the maximum number of people. They decided to support education by expanding opportunities for young people who would then be able to help thousands, if not millions of people worldwide.

The list of beneficiaries is long. Among them are MIT, where Cecil received his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and The Scripps Institute. In addition, they helped fund scholarships, endowed university chairs, gave the principal donation to the Salvation Army building in Dallas, and the Dallas YWCA building fund.

In the early 1960s, Green, McDermott, and Jonsson established an educational institution to provide post doctorate research and training in engineering and geophysical sciences. This institution was chartered the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest in June 1963. It later became known as the Southwestern Center for Advanced Studies. The three realized that they alone could not provide all the funding needed for the institution to grow. It needed to be a part of a major university system and in 1969 SCAS became The University of Texas at Dallas.

Countless people have been helped through the generous giving of Cecil and Ida Green. The Greens have received numerous, well deserved recognitions for their gifts and support of various organizations and causes, but they did not set out to win awards. Their first and foremost goal was to help improve people's lives. Helping people directly and indirectly is their ultimate reward.

From the description of Cecil H. Green papers, 1901-2003 1920-1993. (University of Texas at Dallas). WorldCat record id: 567791304

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Stanford University. Libraries. Stanford University, Libraries, photographs, 1967-1999. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Munk, Walter H. (Walter Heinrich), 1917-. Oral history interview with Walter Heinrich Munk, 1997-1998. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Munk, Walter H. (Walter Heinrich), 1917-. Papers, 1944-1988. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Green, Cecil Howard, 1900-. Oral history interview with Cecil Howard Green, 1994 October 17. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Scripps Research Institute. Office of Public Affairs. Records, 1919-1992. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, records of Karl Taylor Compton and James Rhyne Killian, 1930-1959 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf Green, Cecil Howard, 1900-. Oral history interview with Ronald E. Doel, October 17, 1994. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000. Papers, 1932-1986. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Green, Cecil Howard, 1900-2003. Cecil H. Green papers, 1901-2003 1920-1993. University of Texas at Dallas. Eugene McDermott Library
creatorOf Scripps Institution of Oceanography. A celebration in honor of Russell Raitt and Victor Vacquier, October 13, 1992 [audiorecording]. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Revelle, Roger, 1909-1991. Papers, 1929-1976, bulk 1946-1976. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Institute of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith Colorado School of Mines. corporateBody
associatedWith Doel, Ronald Edmund. person
associatedWith General Electric Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Green, Ida M. person
associatedWith Massachusetts Institute of Technology. corporateBody
associatedWith Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Geolgy and Geophysics. corporateBody
associatedWith Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Office of the President corporateBody
associatedWith Munk, Walter H. (Walter Heinrich), 1917- person
associatedWith Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000. person
associatedWith Revelle, Roger, 1909-1991. person
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. corporateBody
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Library. Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Scripps Research Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Scripps Research Institute. Office of Public Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith Southwest Center for Advanced Studies. corporateBody
associatedWith Stanford University. Libraries. corporateBody
associatedWith Texas Instruments Incorporated. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Sydney. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Texas at Dallas. corporateBody
associatedWith Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Geophysics--History
Geophysics
Petroleum engineering
Social service
Submarine warfare--World war, 1939-1945
Geophysics--Research
Seismology--Research
Petroleum--Prospecting
Magnetic instruments
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1900-08-06

Death 2003-04-11

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