Philanthropists Lisa and Douglas Goldman give $10 million to Cal Athletics

When California Memorial Stadium reopens for its first football game on Saturday, Sept. 1, it will be a transformed facility graced with a scenic and new gateway: the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza, named in recognition of a $10 million gift to Cal Athletics by the San Francisco philanthropists.

Lisa and Douglas Goldman.

Lisa and Douglas Goldman.

“This gift represents one of the most generous commitments to Cal Athletics in The Campaign for Berkeley,” said Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, in announcing the gift today (Monday August 20). “Lisa and Doug Goldman embody integrity, generosity, service and leadership in the community, and they have a long-standing commitment to education. The campus is honored to recognize Lisa and Doug and to affirm our shared ideals in the historic treasure that is Memorial Stadium.”

The $10 million gift is a substantial show of support for the Intercollegiate Athletics program, which just a year ago was set to reduce its roster of sports teams before donors stepped up fundraising efforts, ensuring preservation of all sports. Among the leaders of that drive was the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, whose $1 million contribution to Save Cal Baseball was critical to the success of that effort.

“We are delighted to count Lisa and Doug Goldman as friends, ardent supporters, and believers in the Cal standard of academic and athletic excellence for our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. “This principle has been most visible at the Summer Olympics, where 46 of our student-athletes, alumni, coaches and staff participated — the most representation by any public university in the United States. If Cal were a country, our 11 gold medals won would rank us sixth in the world. This outcome is a testament to the culture of high performance at Cal, which is ensured by the support of such loyal and generous donors as Lisa and Doug.”

Encircled by more than a dozen graceful Chinese elms and offering views of historic Sather Tower and the UC Berkeley campus, the 1.5-acre Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza will be a public space, providing students and visitors with an attractive new gathering place year-round, and a significant enhancement to the restoration of the venerable stadium.

The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza will be a dynamic, multi-use destination point on campus. In the future the plaza will be used as a venue for academic events, conferences, performances, and could also be the outdoor entryway to future stadium retail space.

“Lisa and I are grateful to have the opportunity to grant via our foundation this contribution to Cal Athletics and to support the California Memorial Stadium renovation,” commented Doug Goldman.  “This, our largest donation to date to UC Berkeley, is another expression of our commitment to both the academic and athletic mission of the greatest public university on the planet.  As the fourth of five generations to have attended and supported Cal, I very much hope that our gift will inspire others — alumni and friends — to step up and do likewise.  Go Bears!”

The gift is coming to the campus through the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, which was established in 1992 as a private foundation committed to providing support for charitable organizations that enhance our society.

“Lisa, Doug and their family over the generations have made extraordinary contributions that are linked to Berkeley’s core values in the classroom and on the playing field, creating an inestimable legacy,” said Birgeneau. “This gift today has tremendous potential to inspire many more of our alumni and friends to contribute and help meet Berkeley’s greatest needs.”

The Campaign for Berkeley has raised $2.6 billion so far toward its goal of $3 billion to support UC Berkeley’s students, faculty, research and programs.