SF State News {University Communications}

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In Memoriam: Richard Goldman

Dec. 2, 2010 -- University benefactor and former University Foundation board member Richard Goldman died Nov. 29 at age 90.

A photo of Richard Goldman at the lectern during the 2001 CommencementRichard Goldman addressed the Class of 2001 after receiving an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the University.

Renowned international philanthropists, Goldman and his wife, the late Rhoda Haas Goldman, established the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, which supported a wide range of SF State projects over more than two decades with $5.9 million in gifts. The Fund supported scholarships for Step to College students, better lab facilities for the scientists at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, establishment of the SF State Diplomats in Residence Program and, most notably, the establishment of endowed chairs in the Department of Jewish Studies.

"Richard Goldman was a remarkable, visionary philanthropist whose capacity to imagine a better world was matched only by his readiness to help bring that world into being,"  President Robert A. Corrigan said. "His generosity of thought and spirit were equally transformative for the University. I count him among my most valued mentors and confidantes and will miss his wisdom, his advice and his belief in each person's ability to be an agent of positive change."

Goldman, co-founder of the Goldman Environmental Prize, served SF State as a member of the President's Advisory Board for more than 20 years and was a Community Representative for the San Francisco State University Foundation, Inc. He received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the University in 2001 for his service and the global impact of his philanthropy.

In 1997, support from the Goldman Fund established the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair of Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility. In 2008, the Fund provided an additional gift of $3.75 million to expand the curriculum to include Israel Studies and establish a second endowed chair. The Fund's most recent gift of $500,000 continues support for the Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies Fred Astren said that Jewish Studies at SF State was elevated to full department status with the support of the Goldman Fund. "We owe our vision and maturity to Richard Goldman," Astren said. "We will be forever grateful for the trust he put into our work as scholars and teachers."

-- Denize Springer


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