Commencement 2015 Speaker: Stephen L. Green ’59
Hartwick College's 2015 Commencement speaker will be Founder and Chairman of SL Green Realty Corporation, Stephen L. Green. A member of the Hartwick Class of 1959, Mr. Green will address the graduating class, their families, and the Hartwick community on Saturday, May 23, in a ceremony on the College campus.
"Stephen Green's accomplishments illustrate how extraordinary business success can be built upon the strong foundation of Hartwick's exceptional liberal arts education," said Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich. "He also models a spirit of philanthropy that inspires others to acts of generosity. I am sure that he will inspire our graduates and their families through his Commencement remarks."
Mr. Green is the Founder and Chairman of SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE:SLG), a fully integrated, public real estate investment trust (REIT), focusing primarily on acquiring, managing and maximizing the value of Manhattan commercial properties. The company holds interests in 96 Manhattan buildings totaling 44.1 million square feet. In addition to its Manhattan investments, SL Green holds ownership interests in 35 suburban buildings totaling 5.9 million square feet in Brooklyn, Long Island, Westchester County, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
He earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1959 from Hartwick College, where he majored in political science. Mr. Green earned his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School, where he was chosen as a member of the Law Review, and graduated in 1962. After attending the New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program, he practiced criminal trial law in Manhattan and the Bronx for four years.
In 1967, he started an import-export business specializing in the manufacture and sale of products from Hong Kong and Korea. Four years later, in 1971, he sold the business to the Gillette Company. He then founded a wholesale travel business specializing in the ski industry. Three years later he sold the business to Danson Oil.
Mr. Green then founded SL Green Properties. Over the next 17 years, the company focused on upgrading and converting older loft buildings into state-of-the-art office spaces in Manhattan. In 1997, he took the company public, becoming the first NYSE REIT to focus exclusively on New York City. Since its IPO, the company has grown into Manhattan's largest owner of office buildings.
In 2005, Hartwick honored Mr. Green's accomplishments by awarding him the Hartwick College President's Medal. He has endowed The Stephen L. Green '59 American Governance Paper Competition at Hartwick College, first awarded in 2011, to incentivize Hartwick students to think deeply about issues that impact our country and the function of democracy.
Green is a member of the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York. He is also on the Board of Directors of Street Squash, an urban youth enrichment program providing academic tutoring and squash instruction. He provided the lead gift for the Stephen L. Green Street Squash Community Center in New York City, an 18,000 square-foot facility in Harlem featuring eight squash courts, four classrooms, and a library. He has also endowed the SL Green National Open Squash Championships for US Squash, and is a member of the US Squash 1904 Legacy Society. He was a world-class squash player, at one time ranked #2 in the U.S. in the 45- and 50-year-old age categories; he also represented the U.S. at the Maccabi Games in Israel in 1985 and 1989. The foundation for his love of racket sports was fostered at Hartwick, where he was the #1 player on the men's tennis team.
For additional information on Hartwick's 2015 Commencement ceremony, contact Commencement co-chair Tara Loewenguth at 607-431-4152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.