April 14, 2017

Jolley Bruce Christman, GED’71, GR’87

by Juliana Rosati

A love of contributing to their adopted city of Philadelphia and a passion for educational equity brought together Jolley Bruce Christman, GED’71, GR’87, and her late husband, Steven S. Goldberg, GR’85, when they first met. Today their mutual sense of purpose is becoming a legacy at Penn GSE through two gifts the couple planned before Goldberg’s death.

Jolley Bruce Christman, GED’71, GR’87

“Steve and I shared a commitment to doing what we could to forward social justice in our community,” says Christman. She was founder and principal of Research for Action, an independent, not-for-profit educational research organization focused on issues of equity, and previously taught at the West Philadelphia Community Free School. Goldberg, whose scholarship focused on special education law, taught school administrators and law students and advocated for mediation as a way of resolving conflicts between parents and educators. The couple served as associate faculty at Penn for many years, Goldberg at Penn Law and both he and Christman at GSE. “We inspired and supported one another in giving our best to our chosen work,” says Christman.

“Our goal in establishing these funds was to encourage and recognize astute and unflinching analysis of social justice issues in education, coupled with hopeful and pragmatic recommendations for moving equity forward.”

Their generosity establishes a new biannual lecture series in education law and recognizes graduating doctoral students at Penn GSE for their work in urban education through the Steven S. Goldberg and Jolley Bruce Christman Lecture in Education Law Fund and the Jolley Bruce Christman and Steven S. Goldberg Annual Award for Best Dissertation in Urban Education Fund. The first award will be given in May 2017, and the first lecture is scheduled for this fall.

Christman hopes that this support inspires others to contribute to the aims she and her husband shared. “Our goal in establishing these funds was to encourage and recognize astute and unflinching analysis of social justice issues in education, coupled with hopeful and pragmatic recommendations for moving equity forward,” she says. “I have every confidence that Penn GSE will be a wonderful steward of our gifts.”

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Penn GSE Magazine.