The has announced a $5 million gift from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.
The gift, one of the largest ever received by the academy, will establish the David Rubenstein Enhancement Fund in support of new projects and programming, including the academy's Access to Justice Project, which will work to increase understanding of the existing data on unrepresented civil litigants and determine what more can be done to help provide legal services to low-income Americans; future work to examine the importance of the arts to individuals and nations; and the , which provides resources to academy members seeking to consider opportunities and intellectual issues from new perspectives and to search for connections between research and policy aimed at advancing the common good.
The fund also will support the Distinguished David M. Rubenstein Annual Public Lecture, to be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and other locations across the United States, and through which the academy hopes to strengthen its role in promoting dialogue on important issues facing the nation and the world.
A long-time supporter of national cultural institutions, David M. Rubenstein is co-CEO of the , a global alternative asset manager.
"For nearly two hundred and fifty years, the American Academy has remained dedicated to — in the words of [our] charter — cultivating 'every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people'," said AAAS president Jonathan Fanton. "This significant gift from David Rubenstein will help the academy to reach a new level of impact with its substantive work. It also ensures that we can fulfill our mission to serve as a source of useful knowledge for our nation, and, increasingly, the world."