David Rubenstein Donates $20 Million for New Building at the Institute for Advanced Study


A $20 million gift to the Institute for Advanced Study from businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein, a trustee of the Institute will support the creation of a new building on the Institute campus called the Rubenstein Commons.

The Commons will be a space for interaction among the permanent faculty and visiting scholars at the Institute.

“This incredible donation to create the Rubenstein Commons is important and inspirational in so many ways,” said Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute. “David’s visionary philanthropy will enable the Institute to beautifully enhance its unique and optimal environment for scholars to collaborate, socialize and work. There is a crucial need for such a resource here at the Institute, and we are grateful for David’s commitment to our mission and his belief in the benefits that this new building will yield for years to come.”

The Rubenstein Commons will be located to the east of Fuld Hall to provide convenient access for resident scholars and short-term visitors, and will feature a conference space, meeting rooms and a lounge with a cafe. The Commons will also house office space and will be a venue for displaying images and materials that illustrate the Institute’s history and significance as a national and international center for research.

“The Institute for Advanced Study not only has a fascinating and rich history, but it is a beacon for pure, unrestricted research,” said Rubenstein. “This new building is essential for the Institute to continue to provide a complete and rewarding experience for scholars from around the world who are investigating some of the most intriguing questions across the sciences and humanities. I am confident that this addition to the campus will be beneficial and energizing, and will result in highly productive visits for future Institute scholars.”

A native of Baltimore, Rubenstein earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1970 and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1973. After practicing law in New York, he served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments in 1975–76. In 1977–1981, during the Carter Administration, he was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service, Rubenstein practiced law in Washington, D.C., before co-founding The Carlyle Group in 1987, a global alternative asset manager.

The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton. Thirty-three Nobel Laureates and 41 out of 56 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf and MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.