By Lauren Grimaldi, Managing Editor and Adam Schalke, Staff Reporter
Paul Green, a professor of political science at Roosevelt University and a storied political commentator, died from an aortic aneurysm on Sept. 10. He was 73 years old.
Professor Green began teaching at Roosevelt in 1999 and was formerly the department chair of Political Science and Public Administration. He was also serving as the Director for Roosevelt’s Institute for Politics and was an Arthur Rubloff Professor of Policy Studies up until his untimely passing.
Green was an icon in Chicago politics. He worked directly with countless major office holders in the city of Chicago and across Illinois. Green was also a famed and beloved political commentator on WGN and in various other media outlets.
And though he was an icon in Chicago as a whole, his passing had an enormous impact on the Roosevelt community.
Political Science Department Chair David Faris, who was hired by Green, said he will miss his colleague’s infectious presence the most.
“Paul had a way of walking into a room and changing the dynamics in that room,” Faris said. “He would make everybody laugh with his stories.”
Assistant Professor Phillip Hultquist said he will remember Green’s wit as well.
“I will always remember Paul fondly for his levity and jovial attitude. Whenever I saw Paul approaching down the hallway, I knew I was about to laugh and he never disappointed,” Hultquist said.
This loss has profoundly impacted Green’s students as well. Political science student Adam Gunther said he was shocked to hear of his professor’s passing.
“His wit was clearly unmatched,” Gunther said. “Regardless of your politics to have both the mayor and governor issue statements about his passing it shows that his experience and intelligence stretched far beyond the halls of Roosevelt.”
Former Roosevelt student Daly Tongren, who had Green as a professor twice, said that the Roosevelt community was better for having had Professor Green’s knowledge and spirit.
“He didn’t give any breaks during the two and a half hour lecture period like most professors do. He would tell us ‘Your break is getting me as a professor.’ And he was right,” Tongren said.
To help cope with what is a tremendous loss for the university and the political science department, Faris, who will be taking over Green’s course Electing A President, said he will always remember how Green called him “Chairman Faris” every time he saw him, because he took over Green’s job as the department chair.
Hultquist, who received his doctorate from the University of New Mexico, said one of his greatest memories of Professor Green came during the interview process.
“I was warned by someone who used to live in Chicago that Paul was a local celebrity and quite a character. But Paul made me feel very comfortable right away using his disarming humor, ironically by telling me this is a tough business and ‘you ain’t in New Mexico any more,’” Hultquist said.
Through it all, Faris wishes he had one final chance to thank his colleague for all of the support and guidance he provided over the years. “He was generous to the staff without expecting anything in return, and you just have to appreciate that. He did so much for us,” Faris said.
A public memorial for Prof. Paul M. Green will be held on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Maggiano’s, 516 N. Clark St.