Hong Kong’s Lee Gives $118 Million to MIT for Real Estate Lab

Hong Kong real estate developer Samuel Tak Lee gave $118 million to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create a lab for sustainable real estate development.

The gift will fund fellowships for U.S. and international students, support research on sustainable development and put the lab’s curriculum online, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based MIT said in a statement.

Lee said the gift will help design a program that ties the study of real estate to 21st-century realities such as land reform, environmental challenges, burgeoning populations and an evolving global economy.

“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,” Eran Ben-Joseph, head of MIT’s department of urban studies, said in the statement. “Lessons learned from China can serve as models worldwide.”

The gift, one of the largest in MIT’s history, will create the Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab, which will be housed in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for Real Estate.

Lee earned two degrees from MIT: a bachelor’s degree in 1962 and a master’s in 1964, both in civil and environmental engineering. He then joined Prudential Enterprise, a Hong Kong–based real estate company founded by his father and a cousin.

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