• Print

    Emerita Faculty Member Fay Goleman Left a Strong Legacy at Pacific

    Sep 22, 2010
    Emerita faculty member Fay Goleman passed away at her Stockton home Tuesday among loving family, just a few months short of her 100th birthday. She was the oldest living member of Pacific's emeriti faculty, according to family and friends. Goleman taught at Pacific for four decades, founded numerous programs that are still active today and was honored with one of Pacific's highest service award in 1989.

    Fay Goleman with her son Dr. Dan Goleman, at the Faye Spanos Concert Hall in October, 2006.


    She last visited campus in 2006 to hear her son, Dr. Daniel Goleman, speak about "Social and Emotional Intelligence."

    "Fay was an important person in Pacific's history and accomplished quite a bit," said Roy Whiteker, former dean of The College and an emeritus faculty member . "Even after she retired from Pacific, she still played a role. We used to hold the emeriti faculty meetings at her house."

    Born in Chicago on November 30, 1910, to Jacob and Emma Weinberg, immigrants from Poland and Lithuania, Mrs. Goleman became a much respected and beloved teacher, counselor, community leader and scholar.

    After completing her undergraduate education at the University of Chicago, Mrs. Goleman earned a master's in social work from Smith College. In 1932 she married Irving Goleman in New Haven, CT. While he did graduate work at Yale University in philology, Mrs. Goleman was the social secretary to the wife of Yale president James Rowland Angell. During that time, she also worked with the movement founded by Margaret Sanger (which later became Planned Parenthood) helping with clandestine classes for women in family planning, which were illegal at the time.

    In 1935 the couple moved to Stockton, where they both joined the faculty at University of the Pacific. Mrs. Goleman served at Pacific for four decades, teaching in the Sociology department and the School of Education, where she founded the clinical services program. A lifelong pioneer in the struggle for equal rights for women, in 1972 she became the first chair of the Affirmative Action Committee at Pacific, and received the University's Susan B. Anthony Award in 1989.

    She consistently encouraged students to advance their educational goals through scholarship, and supported programs to assist economically and culturally disadvantaged students. Known for her sensitivity to human needs, patient consideration of difficult problems, encouragement of others and consistently positive spirit, Mrs. Goleman had friendships with people in all walks of life, earning their highest respect and warm affection.

    The Goleman name came to be synonymous with quality higher education in Stockton, both through Mrs. Goleman's teaching and that of her husband Irving, who first taught at Pacific, and then joined what was then Stockton College - now San Joaquin Delta - on its founding. The library at Delta is named in his honor; he passed away in 1963.

    Dedicated to community service, Mrs. Goleman served under three governors of California - Earl Warren, Goodwin Knight, and Pat Brown -- as a member of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health and for three terms as a member of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Children and Youth. She engaged in three decades of leadership in community service, including two terms as president of the San Joaquin County Community Council, and on the boards of San Joaquin County Public Welfare, Parent-Teacher Association Foundation, and Temple Israel.

    Mrs. Goleman sparked the move to build the current Temple Israel in 1955, by writing a stinging letter which she hand delivered to all 18 board members. The letter warned that the religious school, then located in an older building on Madison Street, was a fire hazard and must be replaced. The position of Lifetime Board Member of the Temple was created for her in 1969.

    Throughout her career Mrs. Goleman pioneered services needed to preserve families and prevent mental illness. As a board member of the Stockton Community council, she helped initiate the founding of the Visiting Nurse Association, the Senior Citizens Center in Oak Park, the Center for the Handicapped, services to the mentally retarded, and the building of the Stockton Public Library. In 1970 she received the John R. Williams Award for distinguished community service.

    In 1976, she was awarded the Order of the Pacific and the Distinguished Faculty Award on her retirement from the University. In 1988 she founded the Emeriti Society for retired faculty members and held meetings in her home. At age 99, she was the oldest living member of Pacific's emeriti faculty. Last year, emerita professor Elizabeth Spelts died at the age of 102.

    Mrs. Goleman was especially close to her brother, Alvin Weinberg, a physicist who for 25 years was Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an early advocate of alternative energy. Fay and Alvin spoke on the phone every Sunday for more than half a century, until his death at 91 in 2006.

    She is survived by her three children, Deborah Wolf of New York City; Judith Goleman of Sebastopol; and Daniel Goleman of Massachusetts; her grandchildren Aaron Wolf of Corvallis, Oregon, Naomi Wolf of New York City, Rachel Brod of Sebastopol, Hanuman Goleman of Northampton, Mass., and Gov Goleman of Conway, Mass; and eight great-grandchildren.

    Contributions in her honor can be made to the Fay and Irving Goleman Endowed Educational Opportunity Fund at Pacific. A memorial service for Mrs. Goleman will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 5 at Temple Israel, 5105 N. El Dorado Ave., Stockton.