“I’ve always been indebted to Duke. Since Duke was very good for me, it’s one of the places I like to help out when I can.”
—DAVID RUBENSTEIN, Chair 2013–2017, Duke University Board of Trustees
David Rubenstein is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and a tireless advocate for Duke students, faculty and alumni. Mr. Rubenstein was elected to the Duke University Board of Trustees in 2005, and has served as Chair since 2013. He has led the Board through important work on campus construction, global expansion, financial strength and leadership transition. His contributions to the university have helped improve campus life, from renovating and modernizing the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, which now bears his name, to helping fund the construction of a new Arts Center. Mr. Rubenstein will step down as Chair of the Duke Board of Trustees in 2017.
In 2011, Mr. Rubenstein made a gift to Perkins Library allowing renovations that transformed the library into a state-of-the-art research facility. Renovations included a new stack storage system for special manuscripts as well as fire protection and indoor air control systems. New and updated facilities include a special collections research room, a rare book classroom, a seminar room, an assembly space and a photography gallery. In recognition of Mr. Rubenstein’s gift, the special collections library was renamed the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
“Libraries are at the heart of any great educational institution. … When I was a student at Duke I worked at the library, so this gift also reflects my appreciation for that opportunity and the important role it played in my academic experience.”
In 2012, Mr. Rubenstein donated funds to help catalyze Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, which creates courses and opportunities for students interested in social entrepreneurship. The initiative seeks to make Duke an agent of transformation through an entrepreneurial spirit, generating innovations from the ideas that grow at the university and translating those innovations to positively impact individuals, communities, institutions, and societies.
Mr. Rubenstein’s gift enhances entrepreneurship education at Duke by supporting the creation of new courses, an incubator and mentoring programs that support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in their development of important innovations and new ventures. In 2014, the Arts and Sciences Council approved a new undergraduate certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship, and in spring 2016, the first graduating class of 12 seniors earned the new certificate.
Also in 2012, Mr. Rubenstein donated funds to Duke athletics. The donation helped make possible renovations to Wallace Wade Stadium and the lobby at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The frontal addition to Cameron, currently under construction, will be called the Rubenstein Pavilion.
The Wallace Wade Stadium renovation project encompasses three initiatives, which are being funded entirely by private gifts. The three developments include a new tower, a new video board and speaker arrangement, as well as concourse enhancements to the facility, which opened in 1929 as Duke Stadium and was renamed for Hall of Fame coach Wallace Wade in 1967.
The Cameron Indoor Stadium project, the first major expansion in its 70-year history, does not change the size of the famously intimate arena but adds an indoor entry space designed to improve fan traffic flow. The expansion also includes a new scaled lobby, memorabilia space and a 6,000-square-foot hospitality area.
In 2013, Mr. Rubenstein made a donation to the Sanford School of Public Policy. The gift funds graduate fellowships, undergraduate internships and establishes a fund to increase the school’s engagement with public policy.
Part of the contribution funded the David M. Rubenstein Fellowships for Master of Public Policy candidates. Another portion funded internships for undergraduate public policy students. The remaining funds created the David M. Rubenstein Dean’s Engagement and Impact Fund—an account that showcases the impact of work done by Sanford students and faculty.
In addition, Mr. Rubenstein made a donation in 2009 to Sanford to support environment and energy policy, internships and a distinguished speakers series. The gift also helped Sanford transition from an institute to Duke’s 10th school. In 2002, Mr. Rubenstein made a contribution toward the completion of Sanford’s Rubenstein Hall.
In 2014, Mr. Rubenstein made a donation to Jewish Life at Duke to expand programming, fund building renovations and enhance the college experience for Jewish students. Most of the gift went toward new initiatives and staff positions for a Jewish student population whose needs and interests are changing. New programs reflect increasing student demand for information and resources related to globalization, leadership and community. The gift also provided funds for renovating the 15-year-old Freeman Center for Jewish Life.
In 2015, Mr. Rubenstein made a contribution to help fund the construction of Duke’s new Arts Center. The 71,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to be completed by summer 2017, is the largest single arts investment Duke has ever made. The gift helps create and sustain programs, activities and performances across the range of performing and visual arts at Duke.
The new facility gives Duke a true headquarters for the arts—providing space for rehearsal, performance, video production, classroom instruction and other uses. The new center includes 12 multi-purpose studios, a 200-seat performance theater, a 100-seat film theater, a dance studio, space for video and radio production, a garden, a lounge, a library, a reception space, a painting and drawing studio, offices and classrooms.