March 7, 2005
Providence, RI - On Saturday, February 12th at the annual Brown Wrestling Alumni Day, Rob Davidson '70 announced the establishment of the Donald F. Greene '71 Memorial Fund at Brown University. The fund was formed by a number of Greene's teammates and fraternity brothers to create a permanent memorial at Brown to Greene and all those who acted heroically on 9/11. It will also provide a practical level of support for the Wrestling program and its student-athletes.
Greene, a Brown University wrestler and Theta Delta Chi fraternity brother, like so many other innocent victims, perished in the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. But Greene's story, while tragic, is also one of hope and heroism. Many believe, and those who knew him are certain, that he was one of the passengers on United Airlines Flight #93 who fought the terrorists, preventing them from attacking the White House or the U.S. Capitol.
Don Greene was uniquely able to stand up to the hijackers. He was an accomplished pilot, capable of safely landing an airliner; and he had the physical strength, self confidence, and moral will to confront the terrorists.
Greene and his fellow passengers "won" their struggle, but lost their lives, when Flight #93 crashed into the rural country side of western Pennsylvania. They made the ultimate sacrifice, saving hundreds of lives on the ground in the process. Greene's friends and teammates believe his Brown education and experience as a collegiate wrestler played a significant role in developing the character traits that led to his heroic act.
"Don's passing has re-connected a growing number of his wrestling teammates, fraternity brothers, and Brown friends," said Davidson. "We have renewed once strong relationships that had faded through the passage of time. We have rallied around the common bonds that many of us forged on the wrestling mats more than 30 years ago. We have attended Brown matches all over the Northeast and New England, and the NCAA Wrestling Championships have become our annual reunion and pilgrimage."
The practical goal of the fund is to raise $100,000 to completely re-furbish the Wrestling practice facility and adjoining coach's office. This project is a critical need for the program and would create a permanent memorial to Greene's heroism.
For more information on how to support the Donald F. Greene '71 Memorial Fund, please contact the Brown Sports Foundation at (401) 863-1900.