How FGCU's Mr. Green Became An Inspiration To All

How FGCU's Mr. Green Became An Inspiration To All

We all can take a little something from this man's contagious smile and attitude, but who is he really?

We all know the man who brightens your morning as you drive onto FGCU’s campus welcoming your day with a warm smile and a friendly wave.

That man is Mr. Green. Whether it’s rushing to that 8:00 a.m. that you were contemplating staying in your comfy bed instead or grabbing a quick bite at Einstein’s, you can’t miss him.

I was intrigued by Mr. Green’s positivity and I wanted to know more about him. I thought, “This man must have some interesting and inspiring words to share” and he did.

Mr. Green made his way all the way from Oil City, Louisiana to Fort Myers, Florida. He received a full ride to Morris Brown College in 1973 as a star football player, then due to injury, he left and attended UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbra). He earned a Master’s degree, volunteered in less fortunate areas to enrich lives in need, and served in the U.S. Air Force.

One day, in 2003, he received a phone call while living in Texas to teach 7th Grade Geography at Bonita Springs Elementary School. This ultimately led him to the Information Booth at Florida Gulf Coast University where we see him today.

“I got a master’s degree, military experience, I’ve traveled the world, and I ended up here.”-Mr. Green

You must wonder, “Why?”

Originally, UCSB wanted Mr. Green to attend their school but it was too expensive for him. He told them, “Man that’s a lot of money. I’m not all that bright, but I got a lot of common sense.” UCSB ended up giving him scholarships and grants because of his display of fortitude and ambition.

I asked Mr. Green what his favorite part of his job was, and he responded, “The people. Any kind of person. My history, culture, and experiences have introduced me to be all these types of people. Computers and technology are just tools, but people are the focus.”

His mother, Mattie Green, recently told him, “You know the streets and the other side.”

No one tells him to stand out there at 7:00 a.m. each morning and he doesn’t get paid extra for it either, so why does he do it?

His reasoning was that each day prior to doing this, he would watch as people drove onto campus and they passed the Information Booth with frowns on their faces.

He wanted to be the one to turn their day around. So one day, he decided to be the reason someone may smile. He waves to each individual that passes, not overlooking one person.

We talked about his family back home in Louisiana. His Grandmother would say to him, “You must always do right and have a good heart. Never let the devil stay too long.”

Grandmothers always seem to give the best advice, right? He listened to his Grandmother's advice and displays her words through his acts of selflessness for others.

Part of his inspiration for this gesture is his reminiscences of his times in Oil City, Louisiana. The houses were on dirt roads where he lived. People sat outside on their porch each morning and waved as cars and people passed through.

It was a tradition in his town and it’s the best display of Southern hospitality if you ask me. As he shouted and clapped with enthusiasm, he mentioned he told his parents when he was about nine-years-old, “I just need to be happy and ice cream makes me happy.”

We ended up sharing our love for ice cream together (his favorite being Butter-Pecan, yum) and also bonded over our favorite music. He showed me his favorite Classic Jazz artist, Paul Hardcastle and I showed my favorite artist, being John Mayer. (Watch out, John Mayer’s got a new fan now!!)

He said proudly, “The kitchen is the most important place in my house."

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Green. There’s always room for dessert even if your belly is screaming no.

Numerous people passed through as I sat in the booth with him. All the way from bike riders going for their morning ride through campus, to people in need of assistance. Some people he referred to by name, but most were strangers.

Stranger or not, he acted as if they have been friends for a lifetime. He did so while introducing me to each person as well and made me feel appreciated.

Ed Nolan pulled up to the Information Booth in his car and was eager to add his two-cents in about Mr. Green. He said, “He’s my favorite person to see when I get off the plane.”

“It’s not about how you live, it’s about life. We try to make our livelihood better but we need to make life better.” Mr. Green said.

His uplifting attitude should remind everyone that passes him during their daily commute to our beautiful campus to take a step back and appreciate today. Having compassion and a kind heart towards others will ultimately bring you good things in your life.

I firmly believe that what you put into this world you will receive. We all need to be a little more like Mr. Green, have good intentions for your actions and love each other and life without limit.

Mr. Green said, “When I get a voice telling me to do something I believe it’s from upstairs, and everything always works out.”

Trust that voice in your head and do what makes you happy, whether it may be a big leap or not, you never know until you try.

So go and apply for that leadership position, take that internship, study abroad in your dream country, do whatever that makes you happy. Happiness isn’t defined through materialistic items, but rather the moments we share with others.

His philosophy is, “Putting righteousness before me, history with me, and the wind at my back. As a warrior, you always want the wind on your back, because when you fight you want victory but never the wind in your face because it knocks you down.”

In the short amount of time that I spent with Mr. Green, I got to see a little of what his day is like “behind the scenes”. I came to discover that this is a man with a huge heart. He showed me this through his personal experiences and amusing stories.

Enjoy the little things in life and take a step back once in a while to reflect on what you are grateful for.

We tend to always yearn for more but we will never be satisfied if we don’t learn to appreciate what we already have. Remember, you can do anything if you are kind and mindful of others. Life is measured in part by the joy you bring into lives other than your own.

Everyone has had their fair share of hard times, but what is important is that you overcome them with clarity and share what you have learned to help others. Give more than you receive.

Tell the people you hold near and dear to your heart that you love them because there’s no better feeling than accreditation and appreciation.

I can gratefully say I have made a new friend after this encounter. I suggest you all do the same, even if you don’t attend FGCU! It’s as easy as rolling your window down, saying hello or giving a little honk as you pass by. His charisma and heart will inspire you.

I promise if you’re feeling a little down one day, this is the man to go to that will turn grey skies blue.

A smile and a wave goes a long way. The FGCU student body appreciates you, Mr. Green, for spreading love and positivity every morning.

Thank you for your service. Keep doing what you do by keeping the spirit of FGCU and its students alive!

“You know you my friend.”

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This Is What Happens When A 3-Person Friend Group Stops Being Friends

What was once three best friends is now two guys and a stranger.

Once in a blue moon, you meet these people and just click. It is insanely easy to get along with them and the world just seems right.

In 7th grade, there was this girl who met two guys and just that happened. They all became the best of friends; they just clicked. All the way through middle school and most of high school they were inseparable.

Sadly, things didn't stay that way.

When they first became friends, it was definitely a random combination. While they were all interested in different things, they had one thing in common: each other. After middle school, they basically spent the summer staying in touch, preparing for high school, and spending time together.

In high school, things were going great! Everyone knew them as the three kids who were always together and if someone was missing, they had the answers to where he/she was. Freshman year flew by and the three friends stayed closer than ever.

During sophomore year, one of the guys got a girlfriend, and thankfully nothing changed. They all welcomed her in and treated her as their own. Life was great for those three, now four.

But soon, things would change.

The second guy got a girlfriend and she was not as accepting of the close friendship of the three as the first guy's girlfriend. She was sometimes controlling and demeaning, and when things weren't going her way, it was no way. This caused issues within the friendship, eventually breaking it apart. Soon, it went from three (and a girlfriend) to two, and life was completely different.

Fast forward to the middle of junior year and things were getting worse between guy #2 and his girlfriend. As good friends the other two wanted to tell him to just get out of the relationship before it progressed, but he was stubborn, and he wouldn't have listened to them anyway. Over time they broke up, but the friendship took a while to get back to where things used to be.

Starting senior year, the three were back stronger than ever. It looked as though nothing had ever happened between them, and no one would ever know the difference. In the fall of that school year, guy #2 got another girlfriend.

At first, things were great, he was the same guy he'd been before the relationship. Progressively he got more distant from his female friend because of his new girlfriend, and guy #1 did nothing to stop it. The two boys still stayed close but pushed the girl farther and farther away.

Over Christmas break, the boys stopped talking to the girl altogether. For two weeks they had absolutely nothing to do with her. While they hung out together and with their girlfriends (since now they both had girlfriends), they no longer spoke to the girl they've had in their lives for the last 6 years.

Now, the girl doesn't talk to the guys as often (basically never) and when she does it's only when she has to. Things aren't the same with these three "best friends" and likely never will be again.

But here's where the plot thickens... that girl was me. This is the (partial) story of how I lost my (ex) best friends to their girlfriends.

Although only one of the two guys still has a relationship with his girlfriend, the friendship has never recovered. Soon, we won't have to see one another again. Between graduating and starting college, I will finally get my fresh start. Sure, sometimes I miss them and miss having people to talk to about any little thing, or being their female voice of reason, but I won't miss being the second choice.

They chose their girlfriends over their best friend and unfortunately it's a bit too frustrating to worry about any longer. It's time to say goodbye to a friendship that once was.

I wish them both the best in life and love, but it's time for me to finally focus on myself.

My own happy and healthy relationships.

A new beginning.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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10 Things That Happen When You Reunite With Your College Friends

The best years of your life give you best friends for life.

Oh, adulthood.

Remember how excited you were to finally receive your diploma and put the days of midterms and final exams well behind you? And while life after graduation is a time of self-discovery and responsibility, your college years were the ones where you were carefree and adventurous and you and your friends could somehow make it out to the bars four nights a week.

Those were the years that defined you, that made you the prosperous and thriving adult that you are today. And there's nothing better than reliving the glory days with the people who were by your side through it all.

1. You take Jell-O shots like you're 21 again

Once upon a time at a university party far, far away someone decided to combine blue raspberry Jell-O with Fleischman's vodka and a tradition was born. Fast-forward five years later, two years past graduation when you all get together for so-and-so's housewarming party and someone breaks out those same blue raspberry Jell-O shots and you suddenly feel like it's freshman year all over again.

2. You prepare for a weekend of drinking like you haven't experienced in nearly a year

It doesn't matter the occasion - whether it's because your fraternity brother is gonna be in town for the weekend for a conference or because your old college roommate is visiting her cousin - you know that once night falls, you will pretend that your liver is suddenly a young and willing virgin.

3. You reminisce about all of the awful one-night stands and random hookups you had in college

Amongst old friends, nothing is off limits. And when it comes to the people who have seen you fun-drunk and dancing on a table or blackout drunk and crying about the fact that you broke the strap on your sandal, nothing rounds out a Friday night like recalling the time you hooked up with your Biology TA and ended up getting an A in your lab class.

4. All of your conversations are about boring, adult stuff

Phoebe got a new job, Rachel and Chandler got engaged, Ross is buying a house, and Monica was just made partner in her firm. You used to have conversations about who hooked up with who in the bathroom of the bar on Saturday night and how JD and Turk got into a fight because JD's girlfriend was grinding on Turk in the fraternity basement. Now, you purposely gather around wine and beer to make your boring adult lives seem much more interesting.

5. You can afford nicer alcohol and to do nicer "activites"

Yes, partying in college was probably the best time you'll ever have. You were young and hot and could show up to class on Thursday morning probably still a little drunk and pull off a solid 3.0 GPA. But now, as an adult with a real job and a salary, you still party like you're in college, but now with sophisticated tastes and hobbies.

6. Your hangovers are worse than they ever were in college

What happens between the age of 23 and 24 where suddenly, two vodka sodas and a beer leaves you bed-ridden the entire next day? In college, you could start tailgating at 10 A.M. and continue drinking until you and your friends closed down the bars and somehow find it in you to make it to brunch the next morning. Now, you and your friends take one shot of tequila and spend all of Sunday on the couch marathoning "Parks and Rec."

7. You can never find a bar that fits your age group

Once you're out of college, it seems no matter where you go, the bar is always crawling with college students. Determined to relive your glory days, you seek out some place with a decent bar and maybe some pool tables or a dance floor. What you usually find is a "hip" bar spewing out AMFs and Long Island Iced Teas while drunk sorority girls crowd around a table and giggle in the direction of the boys from Phi Kappa Kegstand and they seem to need all of the 8 chairs at their table even though there is only five of them.

8. You do keg stands and you shotgun beers to prove you're still young

I mean it when I say that you will never think you're too old to do a keg stand. And I mean it when I say that there comes a point in your life when you will be older than the number of seconds in which you can actually do said kegstand. But, because old habits die hard and your friends will always be your biggest cheerleaders, you will undoubtedly find yourself shotgunning a Coors Light and swearing up and down that you will still kick everyone's ass.

9. EVERYONE you know is talking about their wedding

This one shouldn't even come as a surprise. LIterally - LITERALLY - everyone is getting married. You can't go a day without seeing a new engagement announcement on Facebook or photos of someone's wedding popping up in your news feed. But still, you can't help but talk about all of the wonderful milestones everyone is reaching. And besides, who doesn't love open bars and free food?

10. And most importantly, you remember how much you love these people and would trade anything else in the world to be with them

These are your people. There the ones who have been there through all of highs and lows and the tail-end of your awkward stage. They love you no matter where you are on the earth and will always make you feel young again. You are meant to run with their crowd and they are mean to be the ones you run with.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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