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Cecil H. and Ida Green: The College was made possible through a generous gift from Dr. Cecil H. Green, in 1990, matched by funds from the Province of British Columbia as part of the ‘World of Opportunity’ fundraising campaign led by President David Strangway. Dr. Green had studied liberal arts and Cecil and Ida Greenapplied science at the University of British Columbia from 1918 to 1921, then moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to complete bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering. He was a co-founder of Geophysical Services Limited, a company that gave rise to Texas Instruments. He went on to become a world leader in educational and medical philanthropy. In 1965 Dr. Green and his wife Ida made a donation to the University of British Columbia for the purchase and upkeep of Cecil Green Park House, an oceanfront mansion adjoining what has since become the College property. In 1972 the Greens endowed the Cecil and Ida Green Visiting Professorship program, which is now administered by the College.

At the November 22, 1993 opening ceremony, Dr. Green emphasized the interdisciplinary focus of the new College:

The complex nature of the modern world demands intellectual flexibility. It’s no longer good enough for a brilliant man or woman to be completely immersed in one subject for his or her entire academic life. Engineers need to understand the ebb and flow of human history; physicists need to know something of the dynamics of the human psych; doctors need to understand the subtleties of literature and art.

The Musqueam: The College stands on ground that is part of the traditional territory of the Musqueam people, one of British Columbia’s First Nations. This association is recalled by the Musqueam weaving that hangs at the east end of the Great Hall.

College Buildings: Graham House, with its adjacent Coach House, provides the central meeting spaces of the College, including the Great Hall where residents and guests dine. The building was designed in 1915 for the widowed Mrs. Lily Alice Lefevre, a philanthropist and poet, by the architectural firm of Maclure and Fox. In 1946, Mr. F. Ronald Graham, a financier and businessman, purchased the home for his family. Upon Mr. Graham’s death in 1963, ownership of the former family home, henceforth to be known as “Graham House,” passed to the University of British Columbia. In 1964, the UBC School of Social Work took occupancy of the building, remaining there until 1992, when the site was redeveloped to house Green College. The original character of the old house was carefully preserved in renovations made for the creation of the College, under the direction of architects Birmingham and Wood, in association with Paul Merrick Architects Limited.

In the process of adding residential buildings to the new College site, the architects sought to design a version of the old-style college quadrangle that avoided the exclusive, cloistered effect of the Oxbridge model and reflected west coast values of openness and informality. A gateway was installed at the entrance to the College to create a boundary and sense of common purpose, but also to ensure a welcome with its transparency and decorative nature. The new College buildings won a Merit Award from the Canadian Wood Council in 1994.

Foundation Fellows: The title of Foundation Fellow is conferred upon individuals who have made a historic contribution to the College, either at the time of its initial foundation or in subsequent years. Green College’s Foundation Fellows are:

† Cecil H. Green, KBE, Founder
† William C. Gibson, former Chancellor, University of Victoria
Richard V. Ericson, Principal, 1993-2003
John R. Grace, FCIC, Canada Research Chair, Professor of Chemical Engineering and formerly Dean of Graduate Studies, UBC
Judith G. Hall, OC, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, UBC
Graham Kelsey, Professor Emeritus of Educational Studies, UBC
Peter Suedfeld, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UBC
David W. Strangway, President of UBC, 1985-97
The Honourable William C. Graham
Ellis Ripley Trafford