Connie Green (right) standing with Nancy Wyman, comptroller for the State of Connecticut, who is presenting Green with a special pen and ink drawing of the state Capitol building
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University has established a new scholarship fund to honor Constance Belton-Green, who served 11 years as the University's chief diversity officer. Green retired on Sept. 1.
The announcement of the scholarship fund was made on Sept. 30 at the Hartford Club. The fund is designed to help students who show academic promise and financial need. Preferred recipients will be from urban communities in Connecticut that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
"I am looking forward to walking down unhurried paths," said Green, noting that her life and career had been guided by three simple beliefs -- to pursue justice, to practice kindness, and to demonstrate humility.
Eastern President Elsa M. Nuñez praised Green for her commitment to social justice. "Dr. Green has ably served the University community for the past 11 years as a staunch supporter of fairness and equity for students, faculty and staff, promoting respect and greater understanding among our University's diverse populations," said Nuñez.
Connie Green (left) standing with Hartford City Councilman Matthew D. Ritter who is sharing a proclamation from Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.
Through Green's commitment to affirmative action, social equity, and inclusive employee hiring and student recruitment practices, Eastern has seen significant improvements in the diversity of its student body and faculty over the years. In 2007-08, Eastern ranked first among all 25 members of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges in the percentage of minority faculty (26 percent). The percentage of students of color at Eastern also has continued to grow; this fall, 20 percent of entering full-time students were students of color -- an all-time high at Eastern.
Green was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Connecticut Law School in 1972. She completed her doctorate in education in 2003 from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Green practiced law in private practice in New Haven and Bloomfield, primarily in the area of public interest law; was one of the founding incorporators of the Connecticut Women Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF); was an attorney at the New Haven Legal Services and Hartford Legal Aid Society; and served as an assistant professor in the Legal Assistant Program at Manchester Community College.
During the past 20 years, she has focused on issues in public higher education. For 10 years she worked at the Connecticut Department of Education, first as assistant to the Commissioner of Education for state and federal matters, and later as education consultant for policy and urban education reform at the Connecticut Department of Education.
Persons interested in contributing to the scholarship fund should contact at Kyle Verona at (860) 465-003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.