Philanthropists Sol and Arlene Bronstein were entrepreneurs in the oil and gas industry. They married in 1933 and lived in Warsaw, Indiana, where they owned and operated gasoline stations and Mrs. Bronstein was a teacher. After selling the Warsaw stations, they moved to Evansville to comply with a non-competition condition of the sale. Here, they founded the Red Bird gasoline stations, which flourished and were sold to a division of Monsanto Chemical Company in 1959. Mr. Bronstein also operated oil exploration, drilling and refining companies.
After Mr. Bronstein’s death in 1972, Mrs. Bronstein became president of all their oil-related businesses. She was the first woman elected a director of National City Bank, where her husband had served. At Mr. Bronstein’s death, a trust was created to fund the Bronstein Foundation, which benefits Jewish and other community-wide charities, including a lecture series, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food banks.
The Bronsteins were members of the Washington Avenue Temple, and both were directors of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science. It was through the Museum that Mrs. Bronstein developed friendships with USI art faculty. She created the Sol and Arlene Bronstein Art Scholarship, awarded to full-time USI art students who demonstrate creative artistic growth. In recognition of her patronage of the arts, USI awarded Mrs. Bronstein an honorary doctoral degree.
Mrs. Bronstein, who died in 1977, created a trust to develop an innovative retirement center, just west of the USI campus, now known as The Communities of Solarbron, “where people of all races and creeds could continue to live and contribute as constructive, responsible citizens.”
With funds supported by the Bronstein Foundation, USI continues the Bronstein’s mission to improve the lives of older adults with the Bronstein Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness.
Read the press release about the Bronstein Foundation's gift to USI.