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Monday, January 21, 2019

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SDSU President Emeritus Brage Golding SDSU President Emeritus Brage Golding

In Memoriam: President Emeritus Brage Golding

Brage Golding served as SDSU's president from 1972 to 1977.
By SDSU News Team

Brage Golding, San Diego State University’s fifth president and father of former San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, died Aug. 24, 2016, at his home in San Diego. Golding, 96, served as SDSU’s president from 1972 to 1977, providing leadership during a pivotal time for the university.

The university was officially renamed “San Diego State University” during Golding’s term, and he led a series of actions that ensured the “new university” would continue to evolve into a major public research university.

Brage Golding with Malcolm A. Love
Brage Golding with Malcolm A. Love
A Purdue-educated engineer, Golding reorganized the administration and recruited qualified administrators from outside San Diego. He hired new faculty, especially in science and engineering, and strengthened the university’s research foundation. Golding also raised performance standards for faculty and put more emphasis on research scholarships and publications regarding promotion and tenure requirements.

In addition, Golding was largely responsible for persuading the state Legislature to retain joint-doctoral programs run by SDSU and other California State University schools in cooperation with other universities.

"On behalf of the entire university, I wish to express our sadness at President Emeritus Golding's passing and send our condolences to the Golding family,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “Brage Golding's vision of the role of research and graduate education at San Diego State remains central to our university today. We are deeply grateful for his many contributions to San Diego State."

Golding is survived by his children, Brage Jr., Susan and Julie, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. The family will hold a private memorial service.

Golding was born in Chicago on April 28, 1920. He graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1941 and began his graduate studies in chemistry at the University of Chicago soon after. His studies were interrupted when he left to serve in the military during World War II. After leaving the Army in 1946, Golding returned to Purdue and served as an instructor in mathematics and a Lilly Fellow in chemical engineering.

He received his doctorate in chemical engineering two years later and was appointed director of research for the Lilly Paint and Varnishing Co. in Indianapolis. Golding left industry in 1959 to become a professor and head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue. He accepted the presidency of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, in 1966 and served there until 1972, when he left for SDSU.

In a Daily Aztec article from April 5, 1972, Golding commented on his decision to come to SDSU saying, “The reputation of San Diego State was attractive to me. I hope it to be true and I want to be able to continue it.” He did so by strengthening support for research, re-establishing broad community support for the university and moving SDSU’s athletics toward NCAA Division I status.

After his term at SDSU, Golding served as president of Kent State University in Ohio from 1977 until 1982. There he rebuilt the administration and made many significant structural improvements to the campus, helping to recover enrollment that had slipped after students were shot during a campus protest in 1970. Golding held the the posts of acting president at Metropolitan State University in Denver in 1984 and at Western State University in Gunnison, Colo., assisting both universities to choose and install permanent presidents before he retired to Connecticut.

Golding authored a book, “Polymers and Resins: Their Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,” and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was affiliated with many academic organizations, including the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In 1975, Golding was awarded Wright State University's first honorary degree.

Golding’s wife of 48 years, Hinda F. Wolf, passed away in 1989, and he moved back to San Diego in 1991. The following year, his daughter Susan was elected mayor of San Diego and served until 2000. During his time in San Diego, Golding was a freelance writer for San Diego Metropolitan Magazine and wrote on such topics as faculty tenure and the rising cost of education.

His community involvement included service as chairman of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Energy Task Force and a role in establishing Educational Growth Opportunities, a precursor to today’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at SDSU for older adults.