Donor Story

Melvin Green's Legacy Is Education

Mel Green
Photo by Glen McClure
We are sad for the loss of accountant Melvin R. Green, a good friend of our professional advisor community, who recently passed away at age 96. Mel was a Certified Public Accountant and Accredited Estate Planner, who was a founder and past president of the Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council.

In 2014, Mel endowed a scholarship fund at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. He created the permanent scholarship fund to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the day he and his late partner Cliff Craver formed the Craver, Green & Co. accounting firm in Norfolk, which has merged into BDO USA, LLP.

Mel's goal was to give future students opportunities he never had. "I did things the hard way," Green recalled in an interview just before his 93rd birthday. For him that meant building a successful accounting career despite never earning a college degree.

Mel grew up on an Ohio farm, served in the Navy for four years during World War II, married and settled in Norfolk. He used the G.I. Bill to finish a year of business college and correspondence courses before his money ran out. He took night classes at what is now Old Dominion University. In the time before student loans and Pell grants, students like Mel either had the money for college or they didn't go.

After starting his career as a junior accountant in 1947, Mel studied while working and passed the CPA exam in 1950. He was a life member of the American Institute and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mel was a continual learner who, even during retirement, took continuing education courses to keep his skills sharp.

The Melvin R. Green Scholarship is designed to help students earn a four-year degree in business. "Norfolk has been good to me," he once said, "So, I would like to pay that back in some small way."

Mel, who also was a member of our legacy society, chose the community foundation to administer his scholarship fund forever. "Over the years I have known people at the community foundation and feel close to it," he said. Part of that closeness came from his office being next door to ours for 30 years.

Kendra Brown
Courtesy photo

Kendra Brown, the first Green Scholar, is a Granby High School graduate and a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta. The Norfolk resident has received the Green Scholarship for three years and is renewing it for her final year at Spelman. She is an economics major, a mentor and research assistant for the economics department. She is vice president of a service organization and has been secretary of business and finance for Spelman's Student Government Association.

This summer Kendra is interning at Accenture in New York City for the second year. She plans to work in business consulting for a few years before starting graduate school.

"This scholarship has been really helpful in alleviating financial burden," Kendra says.

And, that is just what Mel wanted to happen.

If we can help you create a scholarship fund or other lasting legacy, contact Kay Stine at or (757) 622-7951.

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