Barry Goldfarb was a good student and an All-American swimmer on scholarship at Colorado State University in 1965 when family financial trouble forced him back home to California before he could graduate. Undeterred, he worked his way toward his degree before embarking on a remarkable career as an entrepreneur in finance, real estate and manufacturing.
Goldfarb has committed himself to creating a better world for others through service and philanthropy. In recognition of his hard work, success and optimism in the face of adversity, he will finally receive during fall commencement exercises his Colorado State University degree: a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa. He will be honored during the 3 p.m. Friday ceremony for Graduate School Commencement at Moby Arena.
“Barry Goldfarb, in so many ways, is a testament to our land-grant mission,” President Tony Frank said. “Although his own CSU education was cut short, he has dedicated his passion and energy ever since to fostering educational opportunity for others. His impact on our campus and many others worldwide has been lasting, profound and important. Personally, I admire all that he’s achieved – but I admire even more the person he is.”
Goldfarb finished his education at California State University-Los Angeles after leaving CSU. He then began a successful entrepreneurial career in real estate, finance and manufacturing, and now owns and operates three successful California wineries: Oreana Winery in both Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, and Agua Dulce Winery in Agua Dulce.
Chief among Goldfarb’s philanthropic interests is a passion for supporting higher education. He has served on the President’s Leadership Council at Brown University and is on the Board of Trustees at Chapman University and Chapman University College.
He also serves as director of the Brandman Foundation, and through that relationship has spearheaded support for health-care research, higher education and youth and veterans’ programs. Under his leadership, the foundation provided a transformational gift to Hebrew University in Jerusalem to construct a badly needed science research facility. In all, the Brandman Foundation has supported more than 100 causes in California and around the world.
Although he did not graduate from CSU, he remains passionate about the University. His gifts have supported scholarships and academic-support programs for student-athletes, including strong support for the Anderson Academic Center.
“At Colorado State, we hope our students will embrace the service mission of the land-grant university and seek ways, after graduation, to make a difference in the world,” said Ann Gill, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Mr. Goldfarb exemplifies the commitment to service and the resilient, innovative spirit that is characteristic of the land-grant education. He is an exemplary role model for our students as they face their own academic and life challenges.”
Barry and his wife, Donna, live in Los Angeles. They have two grown children, Michael and Amy.