Philanthropist Dawn M. Greene passes away at 88

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Dawn M. Greene / Photo: Eileen BarrosoNew York City and Columbia University lost a forward-looking philanthropist with the passing of Dawn M. Greene ’08HON on August 30. Mrs. Greene, who was president and CEO of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, was 88 years old.

Mrs. Greene continued a tradition of philanthropy in education, the arts, and medicine begun by her late husband, Jerome L. Greene ’26CC, ’28LAW, a prominent New York lawyer and real-estate investor who died in 1999. In total, the Greene family and the Jerome L. Greene Foundation have given nearly $300 million to the University.

In 2006, Dawn M. Greene and the Jerome L. Greene Foundation made a gift to Columbia that was the largest ever to a U.S. university for a single facility — $250 million to support the construction of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, where, through the University’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, neuroscientists and researchers from a wide variety of other disciplines will collaborate to study how the brain’s mechanisms relate to high-level functions such as memory, self-awareness, language, and emotion. The center is being designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and will be the first building constructed at Columbia’s Manhattanville development.

“Dawn was a visionary who established as her top priority support for the study of mind, brain, and behavior, because she saw it as the most compelling intellectual challenge of the 21st century,” says President Lee C. Bollinger.

In 2008, Dawn M. Greene received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Columbia.

Prior to Jerome L. Greene’s death, the Greene family gave many donations to Columbia. These included the naming gift for Jerome L. Greene Hall, which is the primary home of the law school, as well as gifts for endowed scholarships for law students, an endowed professorship in transactional law, and the Jerome L. Greene Fund for Clinical Education at the law school.

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