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WHOI Receives $500,000 Gift from the Green Foundation

March 25, 2004

Philanthropist and Texas Instruments co-founder Cecil H. Green took special pleasure in giving away more than $200 million during his 102 years, a portion of it to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). His generosity to WHOI continues after his death with the announcement of a $500,000 gift from The Cecil and Ida Green Foundation.

The funds will support the endowment for The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Technology Innovation Awards Program at the Institution, an internal program established in 1991 to provide seed money in the form of small grants to help launch new ideas in instrument and technology development.   More than 50 awards have been made since the program began, most between $20,000 and $30,000 each.   A number of the projects funded by Green Awards in the past have developed into major national programs funded by federal agencies, from deep ocean observatories off Hawaii to instruments deployed under the polar ice cap. The Green Awards Program is supported by an endowed fund, enabling the program to continue in perpetuity.

“Collaboration between scientists and engineers in developing new tools to conduct cutting edge science is a hallmark of this Institution,” said WHOI President and Director Robert B. Gagosian in announcing the recent gift.   “We are deeply indebted to the Green Foundation, and to Cecil Green himself, for the positive impact his 45 years of wise counsel and generosity have made on this Institution.   The Green awards are highly prized by the scientists and engineers, and help us focus the Institution’s engineering and instrumentation expertise on timely scientific and technical issues.”

The late Cecil and Ida Green and the Green Foundation have been generous supporters of education, scientific research and technological innovation in a number of areas at the Institution for more than four decades. Green began his affiliation with WHOI in 1959 as an Associate and later served as a Trustee and Member of the Corporation, most recently in an honorary capacity until his death on April 12, 2003.   In 1980 he presented the Joint Graduate Program commencement address in dockside ceremonies at WHOI, and he served as Honorary Chairman of the Institution’s last Capital Campaign from 1991 to 1996.

Green started his career in the late 1930s as a field crew chief prospecting for oil. In 1941 he bought Geophysical Service, Inc. with three partners and developed it into an electronics giant that eventually became Texas Instruments, developer of the first silicon transistor.   He and his wife Ida gave millions away during their lifetimes, once noting that “our giving has been an investment in pleasure and satisfaction.”

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research and higher education at the frontiers of ocean science. Located in Falmouth, MA, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, the Institution is organized into five departments, interdisciplinary institutes and a marine policy center, and conducts a joint graduate education program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.