Jide Zeitlin ’85
Jide Zeitlin ’85 elected chair of Board of Trustees
Amos B. Hostetter Jr. ’58 announced on April 4 that the Board of Trustees has elected Jide Zeitlin ’85 to succeed him as chair. Zeitlin’s term will begin July 1, 2005.
Hostetter joined the Board in 1989 and has been chair since 1998. During his tenure, the college’s endowment doubled, from $540 million to more than $1 billion, and the college successfully completed The Amherst College Campaign, which secured more than $269 million to support research, financial aid and a range of capital projects. In 1999, Amherst implemented a new financial aid initiative that eliminated loans for a broad range of low- and middle-income families. Most academic and athletic buildings on campus were renovated during Hostetter’s chairmanship, and the college recently launched a comprehensive renewal of its dormitories through the Residential Master Plan. Hostetter also led the search committee that brought President Anthony W. Marx to Amherst in 2003.
In announcing the new Board chair’s appointment, Hostetter praised Zeitlin’s dedication to his alma mater. “Jide’s longstanding commitment to Amherst, and the wisdom and insight he has brought to his work on the Board during the past 12 years, make this an exciting appointment,” Hostetter said. “I am confident that Jide, Tony and the rest of the Amherst community will build on the college’s current strengths so as to make Amherst even stronger and more distinctive.”
“This college is so much stronger because of Amos’ singular leadership over the past seven years,” Zeitlin said. “He has exhibited exceptional judgment and grace in thoughtfully leading this institution. Amherst will long be indebted to Amos for all he has contributed to the college.”
In accepting the Board chairmanship, Zeitlin reflected on the importance of education in his own life and expressed his desire to work with the Board, faculty and administration to build on Amherst’s many strengths and its tradition of excellence. Zeitlin believes that the college must challenge itself if it is to remain robust and relevant in a rapidly changing world.
“I learned at an early age the importance of education,” Zeitlin said, “and I have a real appreciation for how the pursuit of knowledge can broaden opportunities for young people.” Born in Nigeria to a domestic servant with limited formal education, Zeitlin was adopted by an American family when he was 5 years old. “I grew up in a family that had modest financial means,” Zeitlin said, “but that was rich in a tradition of learning and knowledge.” He added that he came to Amherst because “everyone here had a real passion about education. Amherst pushes you to learn; it doesn’t let you hide. The power of the type of education Amherst provides is extraordinary,” Zeitlin said. “I hope that we can apply this passion to learn to challenge ourselves—at the individual level, the institutional level and the Board level. I also hope that as we further strengthen this college, we will make it even more accessible to the best and brightest young men and women of every socio-economic background within and outside the United States.”
Zeitlin is a senior investment banker at Goldman Sachs, where he began as a summer intern after his sophomore year at Amherst. Zeitlin was elected a partner at Goldman Sachs in 1996 and has held a number of senior management roles in the firm’s investment banking division and executive office.
Zeitlin joined the Amherst Board in 1993 as an alumni trustee. When his term as an alumni trustee ended in 1999, the Board appointed him to a term trusteeship. For the past seven years, he has led the Budget and Finance Committee. In addition, Zeitlin was on the 14-member Presidential Search Committee in 2003.
Zeitlin is also an active alumnus at Harvard, where he earned his M.B.A. in 1987. A member of the board of Teach for America and Common Ground Community (a nonprofit housing and community development organization headed by Rosanne Haggerty ’82), he also is a trustee of Milton Academy, Montefiore Medical Center and Playwrights Horizons. He serves on the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.
Zeitlin graduated from Amherst magna cum laude with a double major in economics and English. He lives in New York City with his wife, Tina Goldberg, and their infant son.
Amherst’s Board of Trustees consists of the president of the college, ex officio, and 20 other members: 14 term trustees, elected by the Board, and six alumni trustees elected by alumni of the college.
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Photo: Frank Ward