Dr. George Silver, North Greenville University's (NGU) fourth president, died on January 29 in Goldsboro, NC, at 94. He served as North Greenville's president from 1975-1980.
"The entire North Greenville University community is saddened to learn of Dr. Silver's passing," said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. "He had a remarkable career, making a positive impact on so many lives. We are forever grateful for his contributions and dedication to helping make our University the place it is today. NGU sends its deepest condolences to his family."
Silver was a scholar and an educator whose professional life spanned various leadership roles and responsibilities. Early in his career, he served as a faculty member of several high schools, colleges, and universities. He served as president at North Greenville, Chesapeake College, and Ocean County College.
During his five years at North Greenville, Silver upgraded the academic programs and made many improvements and changes. He renovated Hayes Gymnasium, began constructing the Unit residence halls, and launched the Academic Commitment Training (ACT) program, which offered students one or two semesters to sharpen their skills before entering regular college courses.
According to his published obituary, during his adult life, he and his beloved wife, Dr. Jane H. Silver, approached each new challenge as a team. He would enter each new position as a "copilot" and tackle and embrace the role of chief administrator/president. She would work beside him to fulfill his role and serve as director of the student counseling center.
The Silvers’ crowning achievement came when he was named president of Maryland’s Chesapeake College, which was comprised of an empty cornfield at a location where the four surrounding counties converged.
In partnership with his wife, Silver created every aspect of the college, from interviewing and hiring each faculty and staff member to overseeing the development of architectural plans, designs, and construction for each building. Chesapeake grew into a thriving institution serving students from surrounding counties and beyond. Silver had a clear vision for the college's future that, one day, students could attend Chesapeake and complete two-year, four-year, and graduate degrees. Today, on the Chesapeake campus, there is an Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, which offers four-year programs in addition to master's and doctoral degree programs.
Silver was a military veteran, with active roles spanning more than 5o years. His career included service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, the National Guard, and the U.S. Army Reserve, where he retired as a colonel. He was an air corps crew officer and battery commander in the Army Air Corps and a state property officer in the National Guard. He was transferred to the Quartermaster Corps while living in Maryland and oversaw all logistics at Fort Indian Town Gap. He graduated from the Army War College, where he was a commandant of the Reserve Command and General Staff College in Maryland. He also served as Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, VA.
His obituary stated that Silver personified the true meaning of an altruist. Even as early as his boyhood, he was unselfishly concerned and devoted to the welfare of others. He always strived to make the life of each person he met better and more fulfilling. Before an early retirement to Goldsboro, NC, he served others in a variety of capacities, including as a member of the board of trustees for several years at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, an officer of the Rotary Club, several leadership roles promoting collaboration amongst college and university presidents in Maryland, troop committee chairman and district committee leader for the Boy Scouts.
In retirement, Silver filled numerous leadership roles in a variety of local non-profit organizations in Wayne County.
He was president of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, member of an educational study in Wayne County to assess the need and pave the way for the formation of Magnet Schools, board chair of the Goldsboro Travel and Tourism Advisory Council for eight years, and was involved in the Agriculture Extension Agency at local, regional and state levels.
He also was a member of the NC Cooperative Extension Agency Council, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce board, and the Scott Berkeley Air Force Association. He was president and fundraiser for the Chapter’s Scholarship Fund, and involved with the development of a summer STEM program for scholastically promising young men and women at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
Additionally, Silver and his wife, Jane, were actively involved in the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro for many years. He held many offices on various advisory committees, served as a deacon, and co-founded a Sunday school class for young adults.
Silver earned his bachelor’s degree in education, focusing on history and political science, from Northwest Missouri State University. He completed his master's degree in education from Rutgers University and his doctorate in education from Temple University, concentrating on educational leadership and college administration.
He is predeceased by his wife, Dr. Jane Hartman Silver of Goldsboro; and he is survived by his son, Dr. George R. Sliver of Goldsboro; his daughter, Melissa A. Silver of Richmond, VA; and his three grandchildren, Dr. George R. Silver, Jr., and family of Goldsboro; Keith L. Silver of Goldsboro; and Cara M. Camaioni and family of Goldsboro.
There was a private graveside service for the family on January 30, 2021.
If you wish to contribute to NGU in Silver’s memory, you may do so online or mail to NGU, Office of Advancement, PO Box 1892, Tigerville, SC, 29688-1892. Online condolences may be sent to www.seymourfuneralhome.com. A wreath is placed in his memory at the Donnan Administration Building entrance.
Information used in this news release was obtained from Goldsboro Daily News, Goldsboro, NC.