The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced a $118 million gift from alumnus Samuel Tak Lee ('62, '64) to establish an entrepreneurship lab that will promote social responsibility in the global real estate industry.
To be housed in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Center for Real Estate, the Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab will provide fellowships for U.S. and international students; conduct research on sustainable real estate development and global urbanization; and make its curriculum available online via MITx. To that end, the lab will work with the School of Architecture and Planning, the Sloan School of Management, and other departments at MIT, including Civil and Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Economics, and Anthropology to study topics such as the environmental aspects of urban growth and development, urban resilience and adaptation, land-use reform regulations and codes, data and technology, and affordable housing, with a particular focus on China.
The gift also will fund an endowed faculty chair within the lab, which will begin formal program activities next fall, and will establish a think tank and research fund to ensure continued support for the study of sustainable and socially responsible real estate development and urbanization. In recognition of the gift, Building 9, home to CRE, will be named the Samuel Tak Lee Building.
"This is a period of tremendous change and opportunity for entrepreneurs in China and around the world," said Lee, who received both a bachelor's and a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering from MIT. "By cultivating a long-term perspective, real estate professionals can create even greater value for themselves and for society based on responsible, sustainable strategies. I am eager to connect ambitious, talented students with the skills and knowledge that will help them succeed."