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Date: Apr 14, 2008
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY MOURNS THE LOSS OF BOB GREENE, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING JOURNALIST AND JOURNALISM PROFESSORHofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Bob Greene, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose work while at Hofstra contributed to the development of the both the Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations and the School of Communication, passed away on April 10, 2008. He was 78 years old.
In 1975 Bob helped form Investigative Reporters and Editors, and a year later, following the murder of Don Bolles, one of the groups’s founding reporters, he headed a team that wrote a series of stories about corruption in Arizona. The series brought Greene national attention for his investigative reporting skills. The organization remains to this day an important teaching organization and a lasting tribute to Bob.
Over the years Bob was honored three times with the Society of Professional Journalists national award for public service; with the National Deadline Club award twice; the New York State Publishers Award for public service five times; the James Peter Zenger Freedom of Information Award in 1978; the University of Missouri medal for distinguished service to American journalism, and the prestigious George Polk Award.
Bob joined the Hofstra faculty upon his retirement from Newsday in 1995, the School of Communication’s inaugural year. As the area coordinator for print journalism and later as department chair, Bob skillfully helped build a department that was accredited in 2003 by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and still remains the only nationally accredited journalism program on Long Island.
As noted by Hofstra Provost Herman Berliner, “Bob Greene played a key role in elevating our journalism program to a new level of excellence and he also set the standard for outstanding journalism."
Bob’s passion for his craft made him a lifelong and well-loved teacher both in the newsroom and in the classroom. Students voted him Teacher of the Year in 2000 and he was honored with the Presidential Medal in 2001. More recently he had been teaching at Stony Brook University.
An inspiration to students, fellow faculty and journalists, Bob will be remembered at a memorial service at Hofstra on Friday, May 9, 2008 at noon in the Lowenfeld Exhibition Hall, Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, tenth floor, south campus. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and son, Robert Jr.
Remembering Bob Greene
Comments will be reviewed and then posted.
I knew Mr. Greene long before he was at Hofstra University. He was a good friend, and I will miss him dearly. He always had a kind word for you, and never hesitated to give of himself.
Rob Mikula, Former Student
Please join us at a Memorial Tribute to our friend, colleague, teacher and mentor Bob Greene on Friday May 9, 2008 at 10 a.m. on the 10th Floor of the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library. This man was larger than life and will never be forgotten!
Ellen Frisina, Colleague
Bob Greene's contribution to journalism and Hofstra's journalism program is easily measured by all of the stories his students tell of his help and mentoring in launching their careers. He was known as a "tough" professor because he expected a lot from his pups as he should have. He taught me so much of what I use today in my journalism career.
I will be forever grateful to him for all of his help in launching my career.
Gregg Wallis, Former Student
I was privileged enough to be a student of Professor Greene and I can truly say I was taught by the best the journalism profession has to offer.
His class was like a "Journalism Boot Camp", a bit demanding but I learned so much about what it takes to be a solid reporter.
When I got my first journalism job out of Hofstra as a reporter for the Nassau Herald I informed Prof. Greene and his e-mail response said, "Congratulations my fellow cub reporter!"
I certainly owe much of my journalism career to Professor Greene as do many other reporters I am sure.
Andrew Coen, Former Student
Bob Greene was an exceptionally gifted, talented, and dedicated journalist. His influence will always be felt at Hofstra's School of Communication.
John Bohannon, Colleague
When I first walked into Professor Greene's office, I was a junior transfer student unsure what I wanted to do. I had learned English as a second language and had a schedule that included a year-round tennis season and several jobs - hardly a recipe for a journalism student.
A year later, I walked out of his classroom with a smile and an oversized "I survived Journalism 13" T-shirt.
I had Prof. Greene for only one class but he left a bigger impact on me than any other teacher I've had. I pursued journalism because of Prof. Greene and got my first reporting job because of him. We kept in touch over the years and I sought his advice on every major career move I made. I spoke with him several months ago and he gave me his typical encyclopedic knowledge, all delivered with his sense of humor and a grandfather's comfort.
His recommendation letters often made me laugh and cry at the same time. As a new reporter, I had to work many Thanksgivings and it cheered me up to get his "Happy Turkey day" e-mails he regularly sent to his "pups."
Prof. Greene was not only a great reporter, but a great man. I recently learned he kept his Pulitzers in a trunk because he felt the measure of one's success should not be how much he achieves, but what he does to help others achieve. I learned of his death while attending a training program for a delegation during which I will serve as a mentor to a group of college journalism students. I can only hope that one day, they are lucky enough to have the kind of mentor I had.
Seven years and three newspaper jobs after getting that T-shirt, I know I lost more than an extraordinary teacher. I lost my mentor, a friend and the grandpa I never had all wrapped into one big, funny guy.
Vesna Jaksic, Former Student
I worked with Bob as a computer resource when he and a team from the Journalism Department were applying for AEJMC accreditation. It was a privilege for me as a new Long Island resident to learn so much about the history and politics of our area from Bob as we worked together.
Liz Scott, Colleague