April 20, 2005
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Jide Zeitlin, 41, a partner at Goldman Sachs, has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees at Amherst College. Zeitlin succeeds current chair Amos B. Hostetter Jr., 68, who has led the board since 1998 and whose term ends June 30, 2005.
In announcing Zeitlin's election, Hostetter praised the incoming chair'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 a terrific appointment,” Hostetter said.
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. A 1985 Amherst graduate, 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 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 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 non-profit 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 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 that brought President Anthony W. Marx to Amherst in 2003.
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.
Current Board Chair Amos B. Hostetter Jr. graduated from Amherst in 1958. He 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 chaired the college's Presidential Search Committee in 2003.
“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.”
Amherst's Board of Trustees is comprised 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.
Founded in 1821 for “the education of indigent young men of piety and talents,” Amherst College is now widely regarded as the premier liberal arts college in the United States, enrolling a diverse group of approximately 1,600 young men and women. Well known for its academic excellence, Amherst is also consistently ranked among the very best schools in the country in terms of accessibility: The college's financial aid packages are consistently the most generous in the U.S., and among its peer universities and colleges Amherst has the greatest economic diversity. Diversity, in its broadest sense, is fundamental to Amherst 's mission. The college enrolls students from every state and more than 40 countries, and for the past several years more than 35 percent of Amherst 's students have been students of color. Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 33 fields of study.