School of Law News
In Memoriam: USD Law School Benefactor Sol Price
SAN DIEGO (December 16, 2009) – University of San Diego School of Law benefactor Sol Price, a business visionary whose Price Club retail stores revolutionized the way millions of Americans shop—in no-frills warehouses that offer bulk items at cheaper prices to consumers willing to pay membership fees—died December 14 at his home in La Jolla, Calif. at age 93. His family said he had been in declining health in the last two years and did not cite a specific cause of death.
Sol Price was instrumental in helping start the Center for Public Interest Law at USD School of Law. Mr. Price left behind a legacy of education and community improvement.
Sol and Helen Price, with early-on support from Robert and Allison Price, were initiators of the law school's Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL). The idea to focus on state regulatory agencies originated with Mr. Price’s 1979 observation that advocates and media largely ignored that essential legal forum.
In 1990, Mr. Price funded the law school’s first faculty chair, the Price Chair in Public Interest Law. It was then one of two major public interest chairs nationally. He directly provided $1.5 million in funding to endow the chair in perpetuity. Mr. Price helped with subsequent fundraising and convinced other foundations to help, particularly when CPIL created its sister organization, the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI) in 1989.
"The Price family, and each of them, had their hearts in our work for children," says Robert Fellmeth, the Price Professor of Public Interest Law at USD School of Law. "Sol helped with early funding during its first five years and encouraged us 'to never criticize anyone or anything without offering a constructive alternative' that would meet our critique and stand up to its own.
"Personally, I miss Helen's quiet courage and Sol's entertaining wit and boundless heart. I remember most our weekly walks in La Jolla (early weekend mornings) where we would do what he liked best, walk briskly for 40 minutes with a few good friends such as Paul Peterson or Murray Galinson, arguing loudly, making fun of each other, and getting a free breakfast out of it at that muffin shop."
Professor Fellmeth concludes, "I have always been, and will always be, proud to wear the Price family name next to mine."
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