Alumnus's roots a foundation for new downtown Greenly Center

Alumnus's roots a foundation for new downtown Greenly Center

Bloomsburg native Duane R. Greenly and his wife, Susan Basar Greenly, moved 14 times as his career took him from city to city. The Town of Bloomsburg became his anchor, he said, and soon will become home to a building that carries his family’s name.

The Greenlys, members of Bloomsburg State College’s Class of 1972, are giving back to the local area with a $1 million gift to the BU Foundation. The donation from the Mechanicsburg couple will establish The Greenly Center on the site of the former Cole’s Hardware in downtown Bloomsburg.

The 44,700-square-foot Greenly Center will house the offices of the Bloomsburg University Foundation and other tenants in a four-story structure with underground parking. Pending needed approvals, the project will begin in August with the razing of the building currently located at 50 E. Main St. Completion of the $6.5 million project is expected in June or July 2014.

“A few years ago, we asked the community for input for our strategic plan, Impact 2015. We heard overwhelmingly that local residents want the university to have a presence in downtown Bloomsburg,” said David L. Soltz, BU president. “This move by the BU Foundation, made possible through the generosity of the Greenlys, opens the door for tenants from the community and the university to establish offices in the heart of Bloomsburg at The Greenly Center.”

Duane R. Greenly and his wife, Susan Basar Greenly

As a member of the BU Foundation Board of Directors, Duane Greenly believes the staff will be better able to raise funding for the university when they are united in one building. “Sue and I had the desire to help the foundation and move the university ahead,” he said. “The site downtown is just great and we see the extra benefit of this building as a revitalization seed.”

Jerome Dvorak, executive director of the BU Foundation, said, “There is no finer tribute than a successful native son giving back to the two communities he loves – the Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University. This project was feasible only with the gift from Duane and Sue Greenly. We are pleased to make this major investment in the Town of Bloomsburg.”

Duane Greenly, a 1968 graduate of Bloomsburg High School, recently was inducted into the school’s academic hall of fame, Graduates of Distinction. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg State College and master’s degree from Morehead University in Kentucky. He enjoyed a successful career with Deering-Milliken & Co., BF Goodrich, Newell Rubbermaid, Morgan Door, Barry Controls and Ames True Temper and continues to work as a business consultant and mentor. He and his wife, Susan, a former special education teacher, have two children and one grandson.