WISE, Va. (WJHL) – University of Virginia at Wise (UVA-Wise) honored Don Green as its 2023 Volunteer of the Year at an annual Benefactor’s Celebration Saturday.
Green, a 1961 alumnus, won the award for the second time. He also received it in 2001 after helping the university raise more than $21 million during its first capital campaign.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Green said in a UVA-Wise news release. “So many of the students have stayed in touch, and it’s a good feeling.”
Green pointed out the pleasures that money, travel, cars and other material goods can bring but said he discovered long ago that “helping other people gives us happiness.”
“I just love doing it,” Green added. “It’s not an end, if anything, an honor like this makes you look for more ways to make a difference.”
Green joined the university’s foundation board in 2003 and chaired it from 2004-2023.
During Green’s tenure as a volunteer, the school has completed projects like the addition of the Hunter J. Smith Dining Commons, the renovation of the Gilliam Center of the Arts, and the upgrades to the Lila Vicars Smith House and the Winston Ely Health & Wellness Center.
Green also helped play a significant role in the name change from Clinch Valley College to UVA-Wise and is helping steward their current campaign Honor the Future, which has raised over $76 million.
UVA-Wise President Donna Henry said under Green’s volunteer leadership, the school has boosted the number of privately-endowed scholarship funds, increasing access to higher education and improving experiential learning opportunities for students. Green and his late wife, Phyllis, endowed several scholarships as well as an operational fund.