February 4, 2011
To Members of the Bowdoin Community,
I am very sorry to inform you of the death of former President of the Board of Overseers Marvin Green ’57 in Naples, Florida, on January 27. He will be missed a great deal by the Bowdoin community, which has been the beneficiary of his leadership, his business experience, and his philanthropy.
Marvin was born in Syracuse, New York, on March 30, 1935, and attended St. Luke’s Country Day School in New Canaan, Connecticut, and Peekskill Military Academy before entering Bowdoin as a member of the Class of 1957. As a student he worked in the summer for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution both at sea and at the Arctic Research Laboratory at Point Barrow, Alaska. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955 and took basic and advanced training with the 101st Airborne Division, serving until 1957. In 1959 he and two partners founded Visualscope Incorporated, a small company that produced training films and sales presentations. Visualscope was a pioneer in linking sponsorship of British television programming for American television by American-owned companies. As president of Visualscope, Marvin oversaw the creation by merger of Reeves Communications Corporation, which produced television shows and movies for the three major networks and cable television. The company was sold to Thames Television in the U.K. in 1990.
Marvin’s business leadership extended to his position as partner and chairman of Ayer International (an advertising firm), owner of the consulting business Glendower, Ltd., and managing director of the investment firm Lepercq/Amcur Corporation N.V. He was a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the World Presidents’ Organization and a founding director of the Maritime Museum of the City of Norwalk. He served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards and was a trustee of the American University of Beirut, the Bermuda Biological Station, and the Museum of the Moving Image.
A passionate yachtsman who competed in international races, Marvin set new records on seven courses from the Caribbean to the North Atlantic and the South China Sea in his 81-foot maxi yacht Nirvana. His memberships included the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Yacht Squadron, and the Stamford Yacht Club, and he served as president of the International Class “A” Yacht Racing Association.
For all of these accomplishments, it is for Marvin’s generosity of spirit and his devotion to Bowdoin that we best remember him. Harrison King McCann Professor Emerita Barbara Kaster recalled a conversation with Marvin in which he asked if she would like to establish a television studio at the College: “I told him I certainly did. He told me to rent a large van, drive to New York and he would give me all the equipment needed to start a television production studio. He gave the College two TV cameras, lighting and a control/production studio with a sophisticated TV switcher, a device for fading, a graphics generator and all the cables necessary to start production.” A national leader in Bowdoin’s capital campaigns over the years, Marvin was elected to the Board of Overseers in 1985 and he assumed the leadership role as Chair during the transition from separate boards of Overseers and Trustees to a single Board of Trustees in 1996. Marvin established an endowed chair in film studies, and his gifts made possible the 1998 renovation of Smith Auditorium. For his service to Bowdoin, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in the 1999 Commencement ceremonies.
Marvin is survived by his children, M. Terry Green III ’80, Melissa Green, Alexandra Walter, Allegra Green, and four granddaughters. A memorial service for will be held at the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) on Monday, April 18, at 5:00 p.m.
I know that Marvin's many friends in the Bowdoin community join me in extending the College’s deepest sympathy to the Green family during this difficult time.