MIT starts the new year with a $118 million gift

Alumnus hopes to spur research into sustainable development

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced a $118 million gift from Samuel Tak Lee, an alumnus and Hong Kong real estate developer, to create a lab for the study of sustainable real estate development.

The gift is one of the largest in the school's history and will be put toward designing programs that study real estate in the context of land reform, environmental sustainability, population growth, and globalization.

"As MIT strives to work for the betterment of humankind, Sam's generosity dramatically increases our capacity to create and inspire far-reaching positive change," says said MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

The programs will fall under the newly created Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab. MIT says the lab will place a special research emphasis on China. "The issues that create complexity in Chinese real estate, such as migration, land ownership, and environmental impacts, make it a fertile area for research and practice," says Eran Ben-Joseph, head of MIT’s department of urban studies.

Lee received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from MIT in the early 1960s (Staiti, Bloomberg, 1/8; AP/Fox News, 1/8).

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