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Shorter College president dies at 69

O. Jerome Green
Shorter College
O. Jerome Green

The president of Shorter College in North Little Rock has died.

O. Jerome Green's death was announced through a press release posted on Facebook Monday morning. The release stated his death was “untimely” but did not give further explanation. He was 69 years old.

Green was named the 45th president of Shorter College in 2012.

Green oversaw substantial growth at the school during his 12-year tenure. The press release stated Green’s administration led Shorter College to break enrollment and graduation records.

In 2023, the college announced plans for a $1.8 million technology hub to help underserved communities learn workforce skills. Renovations to the site began this year.

James Cain, the school's Director of Communications and Marketing, remembered Green as a leader who inspired others.

“He made you feel comfortable, you know, just smooth conversations. He made you laugh. It felt real good," he said. "He brought energy and excitement. He made you want to come to work because he brought that energy and excitement here at Shorter.”

Cain became emotional as he described Green’s impact. He said Green taught him to be prepared for any situation.

“Whenever there comes a moment where I just want to break down and cry or I miss him, I just think ‘what would president Green do?’”

Cain said Green’s absence will be felt throughout the college and the community.

Green previously worked at Miles College, an HBCU in Fairfield, Ala., where he received his B.A. in English Language and Literature. Green earned a M.A. in Journalism at The Ohio State University and a J.D. at the Bowen School of Law at UA Little Rock.

Green served on the Arkansas Ethics Commission from 1991 to 1995. He was named one of the “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2024” by the nonprofit HBCU Campaign Fund in February.

Maggie Ryan is a reporter and local host of All Things Considered for Little Rock Public Radio.