When fans walk into the new Gene Polisseni Center, they will quickly notice one orange seat among the 3,999 black and gray seats. That seat is in honor of Green B. Williams ’78 (business administration), a former RIT goaltender.
Williams was as committed to his country as he was to RIT. A native of Amherst, Mass., Williams played 50 games in goal for RIT from 1973 to 1977. While at RIT, Williams received the RIT Coaches Award for Outstanding Contributions to the program in 1976 and the RIT Hockey Outstanding Senior Award in 1977.
After graduating, Williams enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served with distinction. Tragically, he was killed in a pilot-training accident on March 21, 1984, just six days shy of his 28th birthday. Today, RIT men’s hockey athletes know of Williams through the annual Green B. Williams Award for Academic Excellence, given to the men’s hockey student athlete with the highest grade point average.
Alumni Tom Keene ’75 (biology) and Jeff Begoon ’78 (business administration), began a movement to honor Green B. Williams’ memory. With support from Williams’ family, an effort to raise money for the Polisseni Center was started with a specific goal to make the one seat, located in Section 107, Row K, Seat 8, orange. The seat is directly behind the net that RIT will defend twice. The single orange seat is a reminder of Williams’ commitment to excellence and his Tiger Pride.
The seat will be available for purchase on a game-by-game basis during the season for both men’s and women’s games.