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Leaving a Legacy: The Family of Longtime CCS Professor Establishes Scholarship in His Name

December 2, 2021

The family of Nelson D. Greer, educator at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) for over 37 years, has established a scholarship in his name for a deserving Communication Design student at CCS.

Recently, longtime CCS professor Nelson Greer’s family established a scholarship in his name, the “Promising Student Award in Memory of Nelson Greer” and chose CCS sophomore Julian Dalat as the recipient. The Greer Family recognized Dalat as a student that shows great promise and has demonstrated a strong work ethic and dedication to his design education, employs strong conceptual thinking, and exhibits a love of exploration into the craft of his work. Dalat brings a positive attitude to each and every class and shares thoughtful insight with his peers. He is also open to class feedback and is always striving to iterate and improve upon his work. It is for these reasons the department, along with the Rose Greer and the Greer family, commend Julian for a job well done. We wish you continued success and look forward to a bright future in the Communication Design family.

Nelson Greer

Left to Right: Rob Levy, son in law, Alex Hartman, granddaughter, Rosalie Greer, wife, Julian Dalat, CCS/CD student, Andrea Greer Levy, daughter, Emily Blank, granddaughter, Stephanie Greer, daughter, and Garrett Meyers, son in law.

Remembering Nelson Greer

Words by: Rose Greer

Nelson Greer’ career spanned decades, taking off during the ‘Mad Men’ Advertising Agency days of the 1960’s, eventually leading to Professor of Graphic Communications for almost four decades at the College for Creative Studies. Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Fine Arts were fundamental to his approach in what was then called Commercial Art, now Communication Design.

This new, unusual vision brought him attention from top advertising agencies and studios in Metropolitan Detroit as well as work in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto. His automotive work included auto catalogs, collateral, billboards, ads and packaging. Other clients were in retail, computer and home-building industries as well as the Concours ‘Elegance in Michigan and California. At the height of Nelson’s commercial graphic design career he was persuaded to share his real-world experiences and teach ‘just one class’ at the then Center for Creative Studies.

CCS’s president believed that Nelson’s teaching would greatly expand the students’ experience and benefit the caliber of their work. Eventually, ‘just one class’ became a full time Professor’s work. He was later asked to Chair the Department. Nelson was a mentor to all and helped launch successful careers of hundreds of students during a 37 year tenure at CCS. Beloved by students and colleagues alike; for his quick wit, intellectual acumen, design skills, creativity and his kind soul.

Many kept in touch with him over the years from graphic design positions in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa. His love of teaching was evident in his focus; currency in design, computers, and world trends. He taught into his late 70’s, relevant and effective.