A New Portrait of Former SEC Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid '65

A revered professor, alumnus and former SEC commissioner is remembered.

The Goldschmid family: Charles '04, Paul '05 , Mary and Joseph '14 with Dean Gillian Lester

The family of Harvey J. Goldschmid ’65 further cemented Goldschmid’s deep bond with Columbia Law School at the unveiling of his portrait on November 29. Goldschmid was a beloved Columbia Law professor and former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dean Gillian Lester noted to the more than 100 guests attending that the portrait will hang on the fifth floor of Jerome Greene Hall, outside of Goldschmid’s former office and next to a portrait of United States Circuit Judge Paul R. Hays ’33, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a mentor and friend for whom Goldschmidt served as clerk. “Harvey’s contributions to both the academy and society at large are impossible to quantify," said Lester. "His commitment to the craft of teaching and mentoring his students continues to be without peer. And, the friendships and intellectual collaborations that he cultivated with his colleagues had indelible effect on all who have joined us here today."  

A former commissioner, general counsel and special advisor to the SEC, Goldschmid served on the faculty of the Law School from 1970 to 1984 and continued to teach seminars on corporate law, federal securities regulation, and advanced corporate issues until his death in 2015. In the obituary published by The New York TimesGoldschmid was called “an ally of ordinary shareholders” and a strong advocate of “making public corporations responsible to shareholders.”

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, John Coffee, Jr., the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law and a long-time friend and colleague, called Goldschmid a “master teacher, a skilled practitioner and a dedicated public servant.”  Jim Millstein ’82, founder and CEO of Millstein & Co. and a former student of Goldschmid, and Millstein’s father, Ira M. Millstein ’49, both offered fond remembrances. The elder Millstein, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and adjunct professor at the Law School, said Goldschmid had been a warm, supportive friend of more than 50 years.  

All three of Goldschmid’s sons are alumni of the Law School. Paul ’05, speaking on behalf of the family, noted that the portrait captured the twinkle in Goldschmid’s eye. “Through interviews with students and colleagues, [Sarah Belchetz-Swenson, the portrait’s painter] has captured his essence — a kind, caring intellectual with an eagerness to solve difficult problems.”

“He loved and revered this institution,” Paul Goldschmid added.

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Posted on December 19, 2017

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