“I hope that Americans will always keep in mind how much George Washington meant to the founding of this great nation, and how his examples of sterling character and unbiased leadership provide a timeless example for leaders of today and the future.”


Fostering Scholarly Research

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon fosters new scholarly research about George Washington and the Founding Era, while safeguarding original Washington books and manuscripts. The construction of the 45,000-square-foot facility, which opened in September 2013, was made possible by a capital campaign spearheaded by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The campaign raised more than $100 million, all provided by private donors.

The Washington Library safeguards Washington’s books and manuscripts, approximately 1,500 additional 18th century books, as well as thousands of important 19th century newspapers, manuscripts and documents. It also serves as a scholarly retreat, creates educational outreach programs, and provides seminars and training programs with a special focus on Washington’s leadership. The Library emphasizes educational outreach, touching the lives of students, teachers and scholars across the nation.

Preserving Rare Documents and Nurturing the Next Generation of Leaders

In February 2013, in honor of Washington’s birthday, Mr. Rubenstein made a contribution toward the Washington Library’s construction and endowment. The gift directed funds toward the establishment of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Endowment, enabling Mount Vernon to grow and sustain its collection of original volumes and documents. Mr. Rubenstein also generously provided the seed funding for a new initiative, the Mount Vernon Fellows Program, to bring college students from across the country to Mount Vernon to study Washington’s lessons of leadership. The program is designed to identify and nurture a next generation of leaders.

The David M. Rubenstein Leadership Hall, in recognition of Mr. Rubenstein’s generosity, is the Washington Library’s largest meeting space for lectures, seminars and other functions for leaders from government, the military, not-for-profits and corporations, as well as scholars, educators and students.

The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program, launched with funding provided by Mr. Rubenstein, is a competitive five-week summer program that offers a small, select group of rising college juniors the opportunity to immerse themselves in a leadership development program inspired by George Washington and today’s foremost leaders.

See highlights from the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows 2015 class





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