Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Always smiling, City Clerk Greene wears many hats in Evanston, Northwestern community

Since moving to Evanston from Atlanta in 1988, City Clerk Rodney Greene, 61, has been a modern renaissance man, actively involved in many facets of the Evanston and Northwestern communities.

During 20 years working at NU, Greene became the senior research associate for cardiothoracic surgery. He decided to apply for the city clerk position in 2008, a year after retiring from NU.

“It was a lot of fun,” Greene said. “I enjoyed research, and then I decided I needed a change.”

While at NU, Greene said he won the most awards of any employee on either campus, notably winning the 1996 Employee of the Year award for the Chicago campus as well as receiving numerous other accolades.

“The way I’d describe how good of a person and the wonderful employee he was … he won all kinds of awards,” said Eugene Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance at NU. “He’s really an outstanding guy.”

During his time as city clerk, Greene said he has worked to make some changes in how the job was completed, such as altering how residents get their real estate tax forms.

“He’s just that kind of guy,” Deputy City Clerk Elaine Autwell said. “He’s a really fine human being, always with a smile on his face.”

Greene also has been an Evanston Police Department chaplain for two years and received his chaplain badge in May 2011. He prays with the officers and does ride-alongs as well as working on celebrations for Thanksgiving, Christmas and special services for EPD.

“It gives me an opportunity to get to know how they feel, what they think about, how I can help them and their family,” Greene said. “And through it all, I formed a good relationship with the majority of them.”

Greene also works as an ordained minister and volunteers with senior citizens in the community. He drove school buses for Roycemore School, 1200 Davis St., while researching at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Greene also has a 25-year-old son, A.J., who is a published author and attended Roycemore.

“I feel as though I need to give something back, and I feel that if there’s a need there, someone should do it,” Greene said.

Greene is also passionate about the arts – he is a photographer, actor and wedding singer when he isn’t working with city officials. He performed in two plays in Evanston, including last year’s production of “Five Guys Named Moe” at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre. He is also now a member of the singing group the Fleetwood-Jourdain Singing Fourtet.

“It’s been a passion of mine,” Greene said. “I always wanted to act, and I always wanted to sing.”

Greene also said he was a dancer for the Barry Richards Rock‘n’Soul show while a student at Bowie State University in Maryland.

“We had a good time – that kept me going while I was going to school,” Greene said.

He is also a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and won the state champion title in form, weapons and sparring for three years straight in his age group. He said even his wife, Lynne Greene, asks him how he accomplishes so much for the community.

“Somehow I get the strength to do it,” Greene said. “It’s a good balancing act.”

For the future, Greene said he is considering applying for the city clerk position for another four-year term, and then he and his wife might move back to the South.

“I just enjoy being able to give somebody advice that will give them a helping hand for the day, ” Greene said.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Always smiling, City Clerk Greene wears many hats in Evanston, Northwestern community