Article By Bro Andre Anderson
University of Kentucky, Lexington
On Wednesday, December 13, 2023 the Jim Green, indoor track and field center was unveiled at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.
Jim, Green, touted in 1971 as the fastest man in the world was the first African-American student – athlete to graduate from the University of Kentucky. Green broke several records and was the SEC champion in the 100 and 200 meter dash in 1968, 1970 and 1971.
Demonstrating a spirit of resilience, as he was often the victim of vitriol, he used it as a steppingstone for multiple victories in field and track. “Success has many mothers and fathers” shared Dr. Eli Capilouto, President of UK.
Present with Brother Green was his Wife Eva of 52 years, 50 brothers from Omega Psi Phi and “…18 members of our family who have degrees from the University of Kentucky.” Brother Green stated, “My mom and my dad they got me here…I just finished the race…from 1971 til now, my fraternity and my university have been a part of my life.”
During the dedication, The Jim Green Golf Scramble donated $5,000 to the University of Kentucky.
Attending and sharing at the event, Ambassador Kelly Craft, a significant donor and proponent of the Jim Green Indoor Track and Field Facility. “Jim Green, you have made us all better. Every student and Kentuckian is proud to have you as a spokesperson.” Mitch Barnhart, athletic director for the University of Kentucky, shared the insights of a developed relationship between Brother Green and current track coach, Lonnie Greene. “I knew Lonnie was the man for the job. He has a heart for the student-athlete.”
Kerral Hurt, Basileus Rho Lambda shared, “The esteemed Rho Lambda brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. were deeply moved to witness the unveiling of the cutting-edge Jim Green Indoor Facility.” Gratitude fills their hearts as they listened to the profound tales of Brother Jim Green's resilience and triumph over adversity.
Departing from this encounter, the brothers find a heightened appreciation for the trailblazing journey Jim Green paved, solemnly pledging to perpetuate and honor his incredible legacy.” For me, writes James Boggan Theta Omega Vice Basileus “…it was when Bro Green tearfully said ‘Mom.Dad… I finished the race’.”
“It was an honor to celebrate our Brother Jim Green and hear his testimony about running his own race that blazed a trail for so many black students and athletes at the University of Kentucky and the SEC. Being in a room with brothers of Omega and many others who were there to support and see this momentous opening was amazing and truly a worthwhile. Brother Green is Bridge Builder personified”, JaMahl McDaniel 1-13-Rho Lambda , Director of the University of Kentucky Martin Luther King Center. “The story is the epitome of our Four Cardinal principles. He came to UK a boy and left a man. He completed his degree and obtained Scholarship. He had to persevere great obstacles…And he knocked down the door to uplift all those young black track athletes at UK.” Shared Bro Darryl VanCleave, Basileus of Theta Omega.
“Brothers, It’s a Great day to be alive when the quintessential UK track star, Brother Jim Green, is honored with the naming of new Indoor Track and Field Center at UK. Brother Green, while a student at UK, preached his life by living out the principles of Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift in the classroom and at the finish line of the track. He now continues his stellar commitment, dedication and love for humanity by sharing his message of hope, that from humble beginnings, we can rise to accomplish all things through Christ who strengthens us.
So honored to witness the blessing of Brother Green.” Expressed by Brother L Rodney Bennett 5th District Chaplain.
In the most humble and honorable manner, Brother Green presented Coach Lonnie Greene a check in the amount of $25 thousand dollars. Uplift personified.