Dr. Roger Goldberg was a master teacher who positively impacted countless Ohio Northern University business students. While his personal influence will reverberate for years to come, his family has cemented his legacy through the establishment of endowed scholarships.
Goldberg, professor emeritus of economics, passed away on June 12, 2022, at age 76. He spent more than 40 years at ONU teaching students and leading administrative initiatives. His former students, now located across the country and world, have built meaningful careers and lives thanks, in part, to his mentorship.
“Our whole family appreciates the wonderful stories and letters that have arrived since his death, with students sharing how he didn’t just get them through economics, but also through college or making a career decision, or even starting a business or accepting a job offer,” said Goldberg’s daughter, Erin Baucom.
Thanks to the generosity of Erin and her husband, Brett, future ONU students will also be impacted by Goldberg’s legacy. The Baucoms have established two endowed scholarships in Goldberg’s name.
The Dr. Roger H. Goldberg Endowed Business Scholarship, established in 2019, has had four scholarship recipients to date. Recently, the Baucoms established the Baucom Family Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of Dr. Roger Goldberg, to provide financial assistance to underrepresented students in the College of Business.
“Brett and I considered the many ways to honor and remember a loved one, but endowing this scholarship memorializes the special connection between a teacher and his university,” says Erin.
Teacher, mentor, sports fan
Goldberg was born in Manhattan and raised in Manhattan and Long Island, New York. As a teenager, he spent summers on the shore selling Good Humor ice cream treats. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Indiana.
Goldberg called Ada, Ohio, home for more than 50 years. At ONU, he found a University that valued relationship building and teaching—two things he not only loved, but did extremely well.
“My dad’s longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Rich Meininger, once described the magic of teaching and said that dad had the magic,” says Erin.
Goldberg’s obituary described him as a “firm but fair” teacher. Erin adds that he had a special talent for explaining complex concepts in an understandable fashion.
His most notable trait, however, was his care and concern for every student. His influence didn’t stop at the classroom doors; he offered students sound advice and opened the doors to professional opportunities. He encouraged students to get involved in extracurriculars, then made sure to support them by attending their events.
Goldberg played a leadership role in the establishment of the College of Business in 1979 and served as the associate vice president of academic affairs. He started ONU’s Honors Program and championed minority and international student throughout his career.
Erin recounts that her dad was a sports fanatic, and her fondest memories are attending games with her dad. They even rode the fan bus in 1993 from Ada to Buffalo to watch the Polar Bears compete in and win the NCAA Division III national basketball championship.
“He was an avid sports fan and had great respect for the demands on student athletes,” she says. “He took us to so many stadiums and arenas, baseball, football, basketball, ONU and professional—the list is long.”
Supporting shared values
The Baucom Family Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of Dr. Roger Goldberg, says Erin, is special because it not only honors her dad’s legacy, but also promotes the values that her family cares about.
“Access to education for all was important to my father,” she explains, “and when thinking about how to honor over 40 years of his work—his entire career—it just made sense to provide specific, targeted support to effect change.”
Erin and Brett, both CPAs, have strived in their professional careers and volunteerism to promote diversity and inclusion. Erin notes that only 1-3 percent of CPAs are black and the percentage of senior black leaders within the profession is even lower.
“These numbers don’t feel acceptable to us,” says Erin. “There has and will continue to be a demand for CPAs and individuals with strong analytical and critical thinking skills. The profession has been good to us and opened many doors which we hope can happen for the (scholarship) recipients as well.”
Therefore, the Baucom Family Endowed Scholarship in honor of Dr. Roger Goldberg provides financial support for black, biracial or underrepresented students in the ONU College of Business. Her dad was always looking for ways to widen opportunities for students from all backgrounds, and this scholarship accomplishes this goal.
“It directly aligns with what I observed from dad: draw in talented students, enhance ONU’s reputation, and increase retention of black students who are making amazing contributions on campus,” said Erin.
For Erin and Brett, volunteerism and philanthropy are ingrained in their lives. A cherished memory of her dad, says Erin, is that he would provide a contribution every time she was fundraising for a cause near and dear to her heart. Once, she told him that he shouldn’t feel obligated to provide a contribution every single time. She’ll never forget his response: “Every little bit helps.”
Erin challenges others to adopt her dad’s mindset.
“It’s a privilege to associate with these talented students (at ONU) and dad’s legacy of helping so many,” says Erin. “I encourage everyone to find a meaningful way to contribute in any amount of time or money that is close to your heart, but it certainly doesn’t need to be an endowed scholarship. We’ve mentored, cleaned up garbage, cooked for pediatric hospitals, assisted with job placements, supported universities, the list is varied. But how else to put it? Every little bit helps.”