Early Career

Still only twenty-two, after his honorable discharge Greene took a position as athletic supervisor for Tennessee-Eastman Corporation in Kingsport, Tennessee. There he met his future wife, Sarah Virginia Jessee of Lebanon, Virginia. Following his tenure at Tennessee-Eastman Corporation, the couple moved to Greensville, South Carolina, where he became a partner in a private business college. There he discovered his true calling was in academia, asserting “no athletic program could stimulate my imagination as much as teaching.”

Portrait of Joseph A. Greene as a Young Professional

Portrait of Joseph A. Greene, Jr. as young professional, c 1940.

By 1949, he was concluding his doctorate in economics at the University of Virginia when he was invited to return to that “small college on the outskirts of Hattiesburg” to develop a business program.