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“If we put our minds to it, I know this country can solve our energy problems and reduce global warming at the same time,” says Philip Solondz, who recently established the Philip J. Solondz Professorship Fund at MIT. The professorship is to be held by faculty members in energy-related research, with preference going to those involved in the science and development of ocean and tidal energy.

“I wanted to give while I’m still active, instead of putting the gift in my estate,” he says. “I’d rather enjoy the benefits of solving our energy problems now than after I’m gone. Energy is the toughest issue we face.”

Solondz was born in Newark, NJ, and always wanted to become a builder. After a stint in the navy, he earned an MIT bachelor’s degree in building engineering and construction in 1948. Then he launched his nearly 60-year career in construction and real-estate development by building single-family houses in New Jersey. For many years, he worked at Lori Construction and Park West Lumber, building properties up and down the East Coast. Solondz has served as president of the New Jersey State Homebuilders Association, a group of 1,500, and of the MIT Club of Northern New Jersey. In addition, for nearly 20 years he was an MIT educational counselor, an alumnus who works with the admissions office to recruit the best and brightest students. Solondz owns eight thoroughbred horses, including one that five years ago placed fifth in the Kentucky Derby. He also enjoys saltwater fishing and croquet.

“If the benefits of solving our energy problems occur during my lifetime, great,” says Solondz. “We can all watch it benefit the nation and the world.

“I am absolutely sure that MIT can do it,” he says. “There’s no reason why it can’t.”

For giving information, contact Kate Eastment:
(617) 452-2812; eastment@mit.edu.
Or visit giving.mit.edu.

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