Alumni Denning and Goldman win Gold Spike Award

Roberta Denning
Roberta Denning

ROBERTA DENNING, ’75, MBA ’78, and JOHN GOLDMAN, MBA ’75, are this year’s recipients of the Gold Spike Award, Stanford’s highest honor for volunteer service. President MARC TESSIER-LAVIGNE recently conferred the awards at a dinner held in their honor.

The Gold Spike Award is presented annually by Stanford Associates, an honorary organization of more than 2,900 alumni who have demonstrated significant volunteer service to the university.

Roberta Denning “has advanced a vision for Stanford as a place where the arts and humanities are fundamental, vibrant and distinctive,” Stanford Associates said in its announcement. “Her passion, thoughtfulness and constant commitment have made her an unparalleled advocate and have been at the heart of the transformational change in Stanford’s embrace of the arts over the past decade.”

Denning, who helped found the Stanford Arts Advisory Council in 2006, has been its chair ever since. She is also a longtime member and current chair of the Humanities and Sciences Council, as well as a past member of the Humanities Task Force.

Denning also has served on the Major Gifts Committee for the Campaign for Undergraduate Education and the Think Again Steering Committee, as well as serving as a co-chair for Leading Matters New York and a member of The Stanford Challenge Steering Committee. Together with her husband, STEVE DENNING, MBA ‘78, she has provided generous support for faculty programs, graduate fellowships and capital projects across the university.

John Goldman
John Goldman

JOHN GOLDMAN, according to Stanford Associates, “is a consummate volunteer leader whose record of service has greatly benefited the university over three decades – from the arts and athletics, to the business school and the hospital, to undergraduate education and faculty support.”

He is a supporter of the Graduate School of Business as well as a champion for the arts. Goldman played a key role in the launch of the Bing Concert Hall and has continued to be an active member of the Stanford Live Advisory Council. He is a key adviser for potential partnerships for a renovated Frost Amphitheater.

Goldman’s commitment to Stanford also includes service as a member of the Stanford Athletics Board, the Stanford Health Care Board of Directors and other boards across the university. His and wife MARCIA’s generosity has supported capital campaigns for the new adult and children’s hospitals at Stanford, as well as programmatic and research initiatives in areas as diverse as lupus, geriatric health services, women’s health, cancer, autism, kidney transplant and pediatric surgery. They have also supported the Haas Center for Public Service.

The original Gold Spike was driven home by California Senator LELAND STANFORD in Promontory, Utah, in May 1869. The final link in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, it symbolized foresight, perseverance and accomplishment. A century later, in 1969, the university established the Gold Spike Award as Stanford’s highest annual honor for volunteer leadership service. In 1973, Stanford Associates assumed responsibility for the award. It is commemorated by an engraved brass replica of the historic Gold Spike.

Learn more on the SAA website.