Entrepreneur and Businessman
San Diego State University
Sol Price is well known for the entrepreneurial innovations he has made in the merchandising industry by founding the Fed-Mart Corporation and later introducing Price Clubs. But San Diego State University is honoring the constructive social uses to which he has directed his financial resources, his intelligence, and his personal influence.
Mr. Price has been particularly interested in comprehensive, holistic approaches to transform the inner city. It was his remarkable vision that spearheaded an entire community renewal project in San Diego's City Heights, one of the poorest and most densely populated and culturally diverse communities in the United States.
Sol Price is no disengaged philanthropist. Driven by a mission to enhance the quality of life for City Heights residents, he helped create public and private partnerships that resulted in the construction of a City Heights Urban Village, including a new library; a recreational complex complete with athletic field, swimming pool, tennis courts, and gymnasium; a black-box theater; high-quality, low- and middle-income housing; and a new police substation.
But, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a school to educate and provide new horizons for that child. Mr. Price challenged San Diego State University to confront the educational hurdles faced by City Heights' children and to create the educational equivalent of a teaching hospital in three City Heights' schools—an educational environment in which theory could be informed by practice and vice versa.
Mr. Price brought together a consortium of Price Charities, San Diego Schools, the San Diego Education Association, and SDSU to transform K-12 education in City Heights. This partnership has resulted in SDSU's now having responsibility for overseeing and managing three City Heights' schools—Rosa Parks Elementary School, Monroe Clark Middle School, and Hoover High School. Mr. Price has provided SDSU with a unique opportunity to learn and improve. Because of his contributions, insights, and critiques, San Diego State is a better university.
In recognition of his lifelong commitment to social change and progress, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University are proud to confer upon Sol Price the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.