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Inaugural Goldman Prize Competition Slated for Sept. 25

Published on 8/22/2017 1:39:00 PM


RSVP for the Goldman Prize competition: bit.ly/GoldmanRSVP17

The inaugural Goldman Prize competition will take place Monday, Sept. 25, at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Club. The Goldman Prize was established through a gift from Richard and Renée Goldman to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in education within the broader Pitt family with the core element of the plan standing as a competition for a Big Idea that significantly addresses a serious problem in American education.


The seven finalists for this year’s Goldman Prize will make their “shark tank” presentations during the inaugural competition with the winners sharing $30,000 in prizes. The Goldman Prize competition will provide finalists and winners with important benefits, including mentoring and financial support to nurture a big idea for education. It also is meant to create new opportunities for applicants to work with faculty on a project that might significantly improve education, to go beyond classwork and dissertations to connect with faculty around direct efforts to help children and/or adults learn what they need to be productive and successful citizens.


Contestants, who were comprised of Pitt students, alumni, and faculty, first submitted a brief description of their innovative idea and, from these initial ideas, the seven finalists were chosen to make their presentations to a panel of judges on Sept. 25. The panel will include educational and business entrepreneurs as well as educators aware of the most important needs of our schools.


The final competition will follow the schedule below:

  • 6:30 – 6:45 p.m. contestants and audience arrive; light refreshments available.
  • 6:45 – 7:00 p.m. introduction and brief remarks by Dr. Goldman
  • 7:00 – 9:06 p.m. presentations by contestants (10 min presentation, 5 min questions, 3 min transition to next contestant)
  • 9:06 – 9:40 p.m. judges deliberate
  • 9:40 p.m. winners announced who will share $30,000 in prizes


Richard and Renée Goldman endowed the School of Education dean’s chair with a $3 million gift in 2014. The Goldmans, who met in 1958 while both were students at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, have a strong history of providing financial support to the School of Education. The couple, who are life members of the Pitt Alumni Association, have been giving to the school since 1976. In 2013, they established the Richard M. and Renée K. Goldman Educational Entrepreneurial Fund with a $50,000 gift to support the development of online programming in the area of educational entrepreneurship.


Richard M. Goldman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences in 1964, followed by a Master of Education degree in 1966 and a PhD in 1970, both from the School of Education. He has served on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Haifa, and Kent State University. He also has served as dean of the Graduate School of Education at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.


Renée K. Goldman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences in 1963 and a Master of Education degree from the School of Education in 1965, along with a doctor of education degree from Nova Southeastern University in 1985. Renée’s work in establishing the Goldmans’ educational ventures has been recognized by a number of organizations. She has received the Trendsetter Award from Florida Trend Magazine, was chosen as Broward County’s Businesswoman of the Year, and has been recognized by the South Florida Women’s Business Journal as a leading woman entrepreneur and as a respected leader in the field of education.




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