Solomont Scholarship

Solomont Scholarship

The Solomont Scholarship, funded by a generous contribution from Alan D. Solomont and Susan Lewis Solomont, is awarded each semester to a graduate student in the Master of Arts program in Regional Economic and Social Development.  The Solomont Scholar will receive $2,500.  The award is based on great financial need combined with substantial academic achievement.

We recognize that attending graduate school is often a financial struggle, especially for nontraditional students and those of limited means.  At the same time, it is critical for members of economically disenfranchised communities to have their voices heard in the regional development process.  So it seems particularly appropriate to reward and support those who have overcome economic odds to attend and excel in our graduate program.  The Solomont Scholarship is designed to serve this purpose. 

Eligibility & Application Procedure

Alan D. Solomont and Susan Lewis Solomont

Alan D. Solomont is a leading expert and provider of eldercare in New England.  As founder and CEO of the A.D.S Group, he helped to build a broad and innovative network of post-acute, elder healthcare services.  Over a twelve year period, A.D.S led the way by providing high quality care to frail elders in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, other senior residences, and at home.  In 1996, the A.D.S Group was sold to the Multicare Companies which is now a part of Genesis Health Ventures, headquartered in Pennsylvania, and one of the leading eldercare providers in America.  He has recently launched a new company, Solomont Bailis Ventures, whose mission is to identify and develop new innovations in the care of elder citizens.

Mr. Solomont’s career in eldercare spans over two decades and includes extensive management experience and industry leadership.  In the mid 1980s, as President of the Massachusetts Federation of Nursing Homes, he forged a partnership with State government that helped create one of the most progressive systems of long term care services in the nation.  Throughout his career, he has advised local, state, and federal officials on matters related to health care, the elderly, and long term care.

Active for many years in the Democratic Party, Mr. Solomont was chosen by President Clinton and Vice President Gore to serve as National Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during 1997.  Under his leadership and despite a very difficult environment, the DNC raised over $40 million.  Mr. Solomont has held many other volunteer positions in the Democratic Party including delegate to the 1996 Democratic National Convention and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

In addition to business and political pursuits, Alan Solomont is active as a volunteer and contributor on behalf of many community institutions, local and national charities.  As Chairman of the Board of the University of Lowell, he supported a merger with the University of Massachusetts, and served as Vice Chairman of the U Mass Board.  A longtime trustee of Boston University Medical Center Hospital, he worked on its merger with Boston City Hospital to create Boston Medical Center, on whose Board he currently serves.  He also serves on the Boards of the Jewish Fund for Justice; Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly; Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston; and the Board of Overseers of the Heller School at Brandeis University. 

Mr. Solomont has been honored by numerous organizations including the Arthritis Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League, the Massachusetts Long Term Care Foundation, the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, and Rofeh International.  In 1993, he was named Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year in New England by INC magazine, and in 1994 he received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  He graduated from Tufts University in 1970 where he won a Watson Fellowship, and he received a nursing degree from the University of Lowell in 1977.

Susan Lewis Solomont is a highly respected fundraising and marketing professional with 18 years of experience.  As an independent consultant, she works with both for-profit and nonprofit companies in the areas of project management, strategic planning, corporate development and marketing, board relations, charitable giving, and public relations.

Ms. Lewis Solomont works with companies to develop corporate giving programs that are strategically designed to benefit fiscal and marketing objectives.  She works with top management and key personnel to link philanthropy into the overall corporate strategy by connecting core business goals with charitable giving and sponsorship activities.  Ms. Lewis Solomont helps companies to coordinate their human resources and corporate communications efforts with their philanthropic agenda. This has the effect of leveraging their expenditures to get maximum benefit for the company and for their identified cause.  She has expertise in developing employee volunteer and matching gifts programs, defining corporate giving guidelines and objectives, and assisting companies in identifying appropriate philanthropies.

Ms. Lewis Solomont also works with not-for-profit companies to develop a market-based approach to corporate and major gifts fundraising programs.  A pioneer in the field, she creates custom designed corporate benefit and sponsorship packages employing marketing savvy strategy into fundraising proposals.  She is a leader in developing business partners and corporate annual giving programs as well as creating unique business events designed for cultivation and stewardship of corporate funders.  Her experience includes training development professionals in all aspects of corporate fundraising and campaigns.

Prior to opening her consulting practice, Ms. Lewis Solomont was the Director of Corporate Development at WGBH, presiding over a national and local sales organization with revenues totaling $35+ million annually.  For 15 years she was part of the senior management team for the nation’s flagship public broadcasting station where she was involved in the financing, marketing, and development of public broadcasting programs.  Her earlier experience includes working in media research and as a producer of children’s radio programs.

Ms. Lewis Solomont is a frequent speaker with current areas of interest including corporate and social responsibility, cause-related marketing, and corporate philanthropy.  She works with a variety of community and social issues on a regional and national level with particular interest in literacy and women’s health.

Ms. Lewis Solomont is active as a trustee on many boards including the National Society of Fundraising Executives, the New England Aquarium, the Wang Center for the Performing Arts, the Anti-Defamation League, Temple Beth Elohim, and the International Research Institute on Jewish Women at Brandeis University.  She is a member of the Boston Club, a network of women executives in Boston.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Masters degree from Tufts University.

Alan Solomont and Susan Lewis Solomont are married and have two children: Becca, age 15 and Stephanie, age 10.

Eligibility and application procedure

Incoming and currently enrolled MA students—including both full-time and part-time students, domestic and international students—are eligible to apply for the scholarships.  One of the two fall semester awards is reserved for an incoming student.  The other fall award, and both spring awards, are limited to students who have completed at least six academic credits.  Students may only receive a Solomont Scholarship once in any academic year.

Applications include three elements: 

  1. Students should fill out and submit the RESD Confidential Financial Resources Form, if they have not done so already.  
  2. Students should compose a brief statement of one or at most two pages on how they plan to use their MA in Regional Economic and Social Development. 
  3. Students should attach a list of their graduate school courses (if any) and grades received. 

Applications are due in April for the fall, and November for the spring.  For more information, contact Philip Moss, 978-934-2787 or Chris Tilly,978-934-2796.

Note: If you are receiving a federal loan equal to the amount of your determined need, and you receive the Solomont Scholarship (or any other scholarship), your loan will be decreased by an amount equal to the scholarship.  The scholarship is still to your advantage, since it replaces a loan with a cash grant, but it will not increase your amount of cash in hand.