On November 16, 2015, the Goizueta community lost one of its most loyal supporters when Olga C. de Goizueta passed away at the age of 81.
Philanthropist, community volunteer, Emory University trustee, and chair of The Goizueta Foundation Executive Committee for fifteen years after the untimely death of her husband, Roberto C. Goizueta, in 1997, Mrs. Goizueta offered those whose causes she supported a rare combination of passionate investment and quiet effectiveness. While deflecting attention, Mrs. Goizueta nonetheless won admiration and gratitude from a diverse group of institutions and individuals. Through grants and volunteer work, she advanced the missions of organizations such as the Atlanta History Center, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the Latin American Association. Thousands of Goizueta graduates received diplomas from her at commencement, their lives lastingly changed by her family’s generosity.
When Mrs. Goizueta was elected to the Emory Board of Trustees for a five-year term in 1999, then president Bill Chace noted her wisdom and her sophistication regarding the business world and philanthropy. That wisdom evolved over a rich, eventful life that included fleeing her native Cuba in 1960 after Fidel Castro’s rise to power and starting anew in the United States with her husband, whom she had married in 1953, and their three children: Olga, Roberto, and Javier. A devoted mother and wife,
Mrs. Goizueta was tireless in her efforts to promote the well-being of those closest to her and in her community, which extended to the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta, where she was a faithful member, and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. She also continued to serve as Chair Emeritus of The Goizueta Foundation’s board until her death. Mrs. Goizueta is survived by her three children and nine grandchildren. Dean Erika James, in her announcement of Mrs. Goizueta’s passing, spoke for many in writing, “I cannot help but marvel at this life well lived.”—CDB