College of Business honors assistant dean with plaza naming
“I do want to set the record straight. I’m not dead. This is not a memorial, and this is not a retirement gift. I’m not retiring, nor am I retired,” Jane Goldstein, assistant dean of the College of Business, assured the 150 or so people who came out Oct. 1 to help dedicate the Jane Goldstein Plaza.
Barbara Sexton Smith welcomes Jane Goldstein (right) to the podium at the Oct. 1 dedication ceremony.
The new plaza surrounds the Big Red statue that sits in front of the college and is designed to honor Goldstein’s longtime contributions as mentor, adviser and friend to business students and members of the Louisville business community.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz noted in her remarks that she had been talking before the ceremony with a business graduate who said he probably would not have graduated if not for Goldstein.
Goldstein always was there to advocate for a student if she knew he was trying and working hard but just had more “balls in the air” than he could manage, Willihnganz said. She also noted that a lot of UofL employees were doing their jobs better because Goldstein reached out to mentor them.
The Executive Women’s Alumni Advisory Board of the College of Business spearheaded the effort to create the Jane Goldstein Plaza.
“To me, as a graduate of the College of Business, I always just assumed that was Jane gesticulating widely, her arms reaching out embracing anyone that came near the campus, because that is exactly what Jane Goldstein has done all these years,” said board Chair Barbara Sexton Smith of the plaza’s centerpiece, the statue Big Red.
Sexton Smith read from the plaque as members of the board unveiled it:
“She taught, mentored, counseled, connected, funded, defended and challenged students, friends, and peers for the joy of seeing them advance. Her passion was shining the spotlight on others – especially students and alumni, and particularly women.”
Former students and friends traveled from as far away as St. Louis and Nashville for the event. More than 130 donors contributed more than $375,000 to the renovation of the Big Red area and plaza construction.
Besides the plaza, longtime College of Business Advisory Board member Gerry Nichols and his wife, Jacqueline, started a $100,000 endowed scholarship for undergraduate students in Goldstein’s name, and Mayor Greg Fischer proclaimed Oct. 1 as Jane Goldstein Day in Louisville.
“Thank you doesn’t seem to be the best words, but it’s all I can give you to tell you how much you mean to me. What a joy it has been to help you, to be your friend. To tell you that I plan to continue what I have done for as long as I am here,” Goldstein said of the honors.