In 1970, Samuel P. Golden ('74), a recent high school graduate, faced the enviable decision of choosing a college. With scholarship offers from multiple Texas schools and even Stanford University on the table, Golden embarked on a quest to meet with representatives from each College of Business.
Out of all the institutions, only North Texas honored his request. His three-hour visit to UNT's campus in March 1970, during a recruiting trip, proved to be a pivotal moment. It was during this visit that he met finance professor Nabil Aboufadel, who would go on to serve as his academic advisor throughout his four-year journey. This encounter marked the beginning of a remarkable family legacy of unwavering support for the Mean Green, with both of Golden's daughters eventually graduating from UNT, and the family actively contributing to various campus programs.
Reflecting on his decision, Golden remarks, "While other choices would have undoubtedly provided me with an excellent education, none could have equaled the fulfilling opportunity I found at UNT."
Golden's college years included playing as an offensive guard for the UNT football team and earning the inaugural UNT Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in spring 1974. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in banking and finance in the same year. After graduation, at Aboufadel's encouragement, he accepted a position at the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Starting as an assistant national bank examiner, Golden steadily climbed the ranks over the next 34 years, eventually reaching the executive level, where he became the agency's first ombudsman and senior deputy comptroller. Following retirement, he seized the opportunity to establish Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) Financial Industry Advisory Services LLC, where he served as CEO until transitioning to managing director and senior advisor four years ago.
Golden's contributions to UNT extend far beyond his time as a student. He is a member of the Chilton Society, having served as a 15-year member and immediate past chairman of the UNT Foundation Board of Directors, the 1890 Society, and a lifelong member of the UNT Alumni Association. In recognition of his outstanding achievements, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013 and was inducted into the G. Brint Ryan College of Business Hall of Fame in 2019, where he holds a founding position in the Dean's Circle of Excellence.
The Golden legacy at UNT continues through his daughters, who are also lifetime members of the UNT Alumni Association. Jaclyn Golden Malone ('06) and Janna Golden Reed ('11) followed in the athletic footsteps of their father, who took up golf at age 36, by joining the UNT women's golf team. Malone, now associate vice president at The Scion Group Advisory Services, made history in 2002 as the first Black golfer to represent UNT. "My dad often talked about the fond memories of his time at UNT," she says. "I was proud to carry on the tradition."
For Reed, an early childhood educator, playing golf for UNT was an unequivocal choice. When the new golf facility opened in 2021, she made sure to bring her eldest son to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, eager to share her cherished memories. "Being an athlete is the best memory I have from attending UNT, and I wanted to share this with my son," Reed explains.
The UNT's women's golf team holds a special place in the Golden family's heart. In 2021, UNT established the biennial Samuel P. Golden Collegiate Invitational Women's Golf Tournament in honor of the family's honor, with the most recent one taking place this September.
Additionally, the Goldens actively support the team through annual operating contributions and an endowed scholarship.
Golden sums up their commitment by saying, "The least we can do is try to make the path a little easier for these ladies who play the sport that I love and my daughters love. It's simply a joy to do it."