PLAN 80: Article
Alumnus Hank Spaulding, 1927 - 2011

Founder and First Chairman of SA+P’s Center for Real Estate

Charles ‘Hank’ Spaulding (CE’51), a founder and first chairman of SA+P’s Center for Real Estate, died on Thanksgiving Day in Kennebunk Beach ME. He was 84.

In the 1980s, Spaulding worked closely with John de Monchaux, then dean of the School of Architecture + Planning, to establish MIT’s graduate education and research program in real estate. Linking the disciplines of architecture, urban studies and planning, civil engineering, management and economics, the Center has become a model for similar programs at other universities.

‘Hank was a true visionary in his creation of the Center for Real Estate,’ says Tony Ciochetti, currently chair of the Center and professor of the practice in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. ‘Serious study of the field of real estate development was a unique undertaking that fit the mission of MIT very well,’ he says. ‘Combining the skills of business, planning, design, construction and economics, the MSRED program has influenced the lives of 780 graduates who have been instrumental in creating a better built environment in 26 countries around the world. Hank’s generosity to the Institute, the School of Architecture + Planning, and the Center for Real Estate demonstrate his fondness for ‘all things MIT’.’

Spaulding’s extensive service to the MIT Corporation began in 1986, when he was elected as a term member; he was elected as a life member in 1991. He also served on the Corporation’s investment, development and auditing committees, and on visiting committees for the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the MIT Libraries.

According to MIT President Emeritus Paul Gray, ‘Hank Spaulding…contributed to and participated in the life of the Institute in just about every capacity one can imagine: student, alumni volunteer, founder of a center, adviser to a dean, Corporation member, visiting committee member and visiting committee chair.”

Spaulding was born in Manchester NH on March 2, 1927. The eldest of three children, he spent much of his free time behind the soda fountain at his father’s pharmacy and restaurant in Derry, NH, where he honed his entrepreneurial spirit.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from MIT in 1951, Spaulding started his professional career designing and building bridges at Parsons Brinckerhoff. Several years later, he joined Boston-based real estate developer Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, where one of his first projects was developing a 7000-acre ranch into the residential town of Laguna Niguel CA. He went on to become executive vice president and director at CC&F from 1963 to 1966, during which time the firm developed some of Boston’s iconic office towers and suburban industrial parks.

In 1966 Spaulding co-founded Spaulding & Slye Corporation, a real estate development, brokerage, construction, property management and advisory services company that developed office properties in Boston, Washington, Charlotte NC and Oklahoma City. He led the company as president and then chairman until 1982.

MIT paid tribute to Spaulding in 1986 with the Bronze Beaver — the highest honor given by the MIT Alumni Association for distinguished service — and in 1991 with the Marshall B. Dalton Class of 1915 Award, for extraordinary leadership in developing resources for the Institute.

In addition to the MIT Corporation, Spaulding served on the boards of the Lahey Clinic, Pinkerton Academy, The Carroll School, the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association and the Senior Center at Lower Village, which he co-founded with his wife.

Spaulding is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ann Emerson Spaulding; sister Jean Rand and husband Dave, of Willimantic, Conn.; brother Richard Spaulding and wife Eleanor, of Lexington, Mass.; sons Rob Spaulding and wife Penny, of Kennebunk Beach, Maine; Scott Spaulding, of Newburyport, Mass.; Andy Spaulding and wife Chris, of Andover, Mass.; Jack Spaulding and wife Suzanne, of Portsmouth, N.H.; and Tom Spaulding and wife Mary, of Kensington, N.H.; daughters Jane Spaulding Breiby and husband E.J., of Lexington, Mass.; and Sue Spaulding, of California; and eight grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, c/o Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, ME, 04074; or the Senior Center at Lower Village, 175 Portland Road, Kennebunk, ME, 04043.

This story is based on a report by Steve Bradt, MIT’s News Director.