Baltimore native and Duke University trustee David M. Rubenstein is giving $1.9 million to Jewish Life at Duke to expand programming, fund building renovations and enhance the college experience for Jewish students
Most of the gift — $1.5 million — will fund new initiatives and staff positions for a Jewish student population whose needs and interests are changing, said Rebecca Simons, the center’s director. New programs are expected to reflect an increasing student demand for information and resources related to globalization, leadership and community, she said.
The gift also includes $400,000 for renovations to the Freeman Center for Jewish Life. The 15-year-old building will undergo renovations this summer; the work is expected to conclude by the start of the fall semester.
“When I came to Duke in the mid-1960s, Jewish life was almost invisible,” said Rubenstein, a 1970 Duke graduate and current chair of the university’s board of trustees. ”Now it is a vibrant and essential part of the university that is growing every year. It is my hope that Jewish students and their families will think of Duke as a destination for a great education and a positive Jewish experience.”
Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, graduated from Baltimore City College. He sits on the board of Johns Hopkins University.
The gift is Rubenstein’s second to Jewish Life at Duke and supports Duke Forward, the university’s seven-year $3.25 billion fundraising campaign that ends June 2017.