Frank S. Greene Jr. History
Dr. Frank S. Greene, Jr. (1938-2009) will be remembered as a scientist, an educator, a parent, a mentor, a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur, and the role model for the Dr. Frank S. Greene, Jr., Scholars Program. Dr. Frank S. Greene, Jr., was one of the first African-American pioneering technologists of Silicon Valley. He was among the first Black students to attend college at Washington University in St. Louis where he obtained his B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He continued his education and earned an M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University in 1962. After earning his master's, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force and became an Air Force captain. In 1970, he completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Santa Clara University, where he later was elected the first African-American trustee.
As a technology professional, Dr. Greene focused on developing high-speed semiconductor computer memory systems at Fairchild Semiconductor where he was a member of the team that won the patent for the fastest chip design at that time.
Dr. Greene also pursued business interests in the computer and technology fields in the early 1970s. He founded a technology development corporation and Zero One Systems. In 1993, he co-founded New Vista Capital, a venture capital firm that specialized in funding businesses started by women and minorities.
Dr. Greene also shared his expertise in university classrooms, teaching courses in electrical engineering and computer science at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, Howard University, and Washington University.
For his achievements, Dr. Greene was recognized with several prestigious awards. Among them were: the Black Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University in 1991; the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Santa Clara University in 1993; the Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award from Purdue University in 1999; the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Purdue University in 2002; and introduction into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002.
Dr. Greene's philosophy of life revolved around helping others, and so he supported education in many ways. Most recently, he became the namesake of Dr. Frank S. Greene, Jr., Scholars Program, a science, technology, and math initiative for African-American students. This program is administered by the California Alliance of African-American educators. At about the same time, Dr. Greene founded the Go-Positive Foundation to spread the word about a powerful training tool that he devised and named: VRE: Vision, Relationship, Execution.
Dr. Greene served his community in many ways including board memberships on the National Conference of Community and Justice, and the American Musical Theater. Other organizations where Dr. Greene played a founding or leadership role included: Gamma Chi Boule of Sigma Pi Phi, San Jose Jazz Society, 100 Black Men of Silicon Valley, Inc., The African Network, and 100 Black Men of America, Inc. In addition, he was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Sovereign order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller.
*Reprinted from the East Palo Alto Today Newsfeed*