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Michael Pink

Michael Pink ’77

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Pacific alumnus blends community needs and real estate

Jul 10, 2020

Michael Pink ’77 (University Studies) vividly recalls the recruiting pitch that sold him on attending University of the Pacific. 

In the early 1970s, he attended Latin School of Chicago, which had fewer than 500 students in grades kindergarten through 12.

“There was a rep from University of the Pacific and a rep from (Pacific’s) Callison College doing a recruiting trip through the Midwest,” Pink recalled. “After spending 30 minutes with them, I was sold. I was going to Pacific.”

The college choice worked out well, Pink said. His real estate business in Chicago, MAP Real Estate Inc., is thriving. He also has worked to link real estate and charitable giving in what started as a side project and evolved into a passion.

Pink and his wife, Sharon Porter, created a program called Investing In Communities in 1995. He has donated more than $500,000 of his personal commissions to nonprofit agencies, and worked to urge other brokers to do likewise.

“If brokers give up 10% of their commission to their client’s favorite charity, then the 90% they get is better than the nothing they would have received if they didn’t get the sale,” Pink said. “In the United States, it is estimated that 5% of all people purchase real estate each year. Now imagine if a percentage of all of those sales go back into helping the community.”

Pink has seen portions of his commissions donated to charities in such areas as education, the environment and arts and culture. 

Pink sees a model that can be adapted to many municipalities, if real estate agents “broaden their thoughts” to emphasize the importance of community. 

“I love Chicago and want to help the city address its needs,” Pink said. “I think this approach can be an answer elsewhere, too.”

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