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History

 
The David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program was established in 2016 as the first competitive merit scholarship at Duke that supports first-generation, low-income students financially, academically, personally and professionally. Admitted Duke students are selected for their intellectual excellence, leadership experience and demonstrated community service. History Duke President Richard Brodhead (2004-2017) created this scholarship for high-achieving students who are the first in their families to graduate from a four-year college. The idea was proposed by Steve Nowicki, who was vice provost for undergraduate education at the time, and an executive team of representatives from undergraduate financial aid, academic affairs, and the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows. About David M. Rubenstein The merit scholarship is endowed by and named for David M. Rubenstein. Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa.  Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. From 1973-75, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.  From 1975-76 he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.  From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.  After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw Pittman). Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and of Duke University, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art and President of the Economic Club of Washington. Mr. Rubenstein has served on numerous boards including, but not limited to, the Board of Directors or Trustees of University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Business Council (Vice-Chairman), Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, the Board of Trustees of the Young Global Leaders Foundation, Advisory Board of School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University (Chairman), the Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.  Elected to the Duke University Board of Trustees in 2005, Mr. Rubenstein served as its chair from 2013 to 2017.  Mr. Rubenstein also has become one of the nation’s leading and most innovative philanthropists. He was among the initial 40 individuals who pledged to donate more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes or charities as part of The Giving Pledge. His gifts in his home city of Washington, D.C., have helped to restore Mount Vernon, the Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Memorial. He gave funds to repair the Washington Monument after a 2011 earthquake, and he purchased the last private copy of the Magna Carta, along with other significant documents of national importance, and made these available on permanent exhibition in a new gallery and visitor center he made possible at the National Archives.  He has been a generous donor to Duke as well as co-chair of the $3.25 billion Duke Forward campaign, supporting the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Duke Libraries, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Jewish Life at Duke, the arts, financial aid and athletics, as well as other activities.