Judson C. ’74 & Joyce T. ’75 Green

“We see the light that music can provide. Music is profound.”

Judson and Joyce met at DePauw, he as an economics major and music composition minor, she as a major in piano performance. While Joyce performed in the school’s orchestra and ensembles, Judson played jazz piano professionally on weekends and throughout summer breaks. They’ve been married for nearly 40 years. Two generous gifts from the Greens have transformed DePauw’s School of Music. In 2005, their $15 million donation helped to restore and expand DePauw’s Performing Arts Center, now named in their honor. In 2013 another $15 million gift launched DePauw’s innovative 21st Century Musician Initiative, a total rethinking of the music school curriculum that prepares entrepreneurial students to find their niche in today’s professional music world. After DePauw, Joyce pursued teaching piano and music. Judson, after earning his MBA, served as a 20-year executive with the Walt Disney Company, overseeing the record growth of its theme park and resort division. From 2000 to 2008, he was president and CEO of NAVTEQ, a provider of digital maps to business and government.

Both Judson and Joyce grew up playing the piano: Judson in Quincy, Illinois; Joyce in Orlando, Florida. Both studied music at DePauw: he minored, she majored. Today, their passion for music—as players, appreciators, and patrons of it—remains as strong as ever. “We see the light that music can provide,” explains Judson. “Music is profound. It’s a dimension of life that needs to be heard, and it’s one of the reasons why DePauw is unique: the perfect size school, perfectly organized context and perfect sized community.”

The 21st Century Musician Initiative, Judson notes, “is making a difference in the quality of students admitted, the quality of their music education. Our students are organized and know how to think about music creatively, both as a conscious decision and as a form of entrepreneurship.”

Their DePauw education prepared both Judson and Joyce for life after college: Judson as a successful business executive, Joyce as a piano and music teacher. “DePauw places an emphasis on excellent academics, and encourages students to try things,” says Judson, a current member—and former chair—of the school’s Board of Trustees. “The University encourages students to take time to explore their passions, explore the possibilities.” And, he adds, showing his jazz piano roots, “to improvise a little.”

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