Morton Goulder '42
Serial entrepreneur supports communities and startups
Morton Goulder ‘42 has always been a man of many interests. As an undergraduate at MIT, he changed majors from business to electrical engineering and then to physics, but still made time to earn a pilot’s license. After graduation, he went into the wartime navy working with radar. “We became officers with no training,” he says. “I decided my training at MIT had made me more technically competent than almost anyone I ran into.”
After World War II, Goulder worked for Raytheon, but in 1951 he left the company with several colleagues to start a consulting firm, Sanders Associates, in Nashua, NH. Goulder has lived nearby with his wife, Claire, ever since, commuting while he worked as deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in Washington, DC, from 1973 to 1977. During his 22 years with Sanders, which grew into a billion-dollar defense electronics business, he oversaw the corporation’s product design and philanthropy even as he managed both the electronic-design and the reconnaissance and intelligence systems divisions. Subsequently, Goulder became a high-tech consultant and investor and a founder of the legendary Breakfast Club, an angel investors’ group focusing on New England’s young entrepreneurs.
A father of six, Goulder has been deeply involved with his community. He worked for years to improve public education in New Hampshire, and he helped found the United Way Boys and Girls Club and the Harbor Homes, which provides housing and services for people challenged by mental illness and/or homelessness in Nashua.
These days, as president of M. E. Goulder Enterprises, Goulder says he has two businesses: a company that provides capital to entrepreneurs with good ideas, and an investment corporation that makes the money to provide for his entrepreneurial clients.
Goulder has stayed closely involved with the Institute. He has started several scholarships at MIT in physics and environmental sustainability, and he has served on the MIT Corporation Development Committee.
“When I look back on it, it’s really what I learned at MIT that allowed me to be successful,” Goulder says. “I used to go around soliciting money for MIT. I figured that all graduates of my era were subsidized by MIT for at least $50,000 computed in today’s dollars.”