Events - 2015

Abt SRBI Staffer’s Generosity Opens Doors to Opportunity

    Release Date: 1/20/2015

    Abt’s mission is to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide through mission-driven research and technical support. One long-time Abt SRBI staffer recently championed yet another way to improve life quality and well-being -- through a very generous scholarship grant to his university alma mater.

    Michael Goldstein, an Abt SRBI executive interviewer and Chicago native, recently endowed the largest scholarship in the 10-year history of the University of Illinois’s Promise Scholarship Program. The scholarship, which honors his grandmother, Cora Callis Goldstein, provides assistance to high-achieving low-income students to attend the university.

    The Promise Scholarship program covers tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies. The first seven Kora Callis Goldstein scholarship recipients are on campus now. Seven more will enter every four years through 2024.

    Michael commented that he learned a great deal about himself and the world at the university, wanting to ensure that others have those same opportunities available so they may “feed their interests, find out who they are, what they can do, and fall in love with what they do for a living.”

    Michael joined SRBI, now Abt SRBI, 32 years ago. He is the firm’s longest tenured staff member. After graduate studies in sociology at the University of California Berkeley, he first pursued a career in retail management at Federated Department Stores. After a decade in retail, he changed course after rediscovering his love of sociology and joined SRBI, a leading policy and opinion research firm, as an interviewer. He quickly rose through the ranks to become the firm’s senior executive interviewer, trusted to pretest and administer many of the firm’s most difficult projects.

    Michael’s altruism reflects his family’s tradition of generosity and social awareness. In 1893, his great grandfather, the Hon. David Kallis, a Cook County Commissioner, organized a soup-house system to feed the wives and children of Chicago’s poor. Kallis’s daughter and Michael’s grandmother, Cora Kallis Goldstein, provided warm meals to the area’s poor from the family’s back porch.

    Illinois Promise Program Director Susan Gershenfeld commented, “Honoring his grandmother, the impact of his gift will transform the lives of talented, low-income students who are from the very Chicago communities that benefited from Michael’s family so many years ago.” 

    In addition to his service to Abt SRBI, Michael was a charter member of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, which has raised thousands of dollars for AIDS-related charities. Reflecting Michael’s deeply-felt Jewish routes, he is a member of New York City’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, now the world’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender synagogue. He lives with his mate of 21 years, Alton Bader.

    For more information on Michael Goldstein and the Cora Callis Goldstein Scholarship, see:
    http://uif.uillinois.edu/GivingSocieties/2014CCHonorRoll/files/inc/2abac64ce5.pdf