David M. Rubenstein, JD’73, renews Rubenstein Scholars Program with $13 million gift

University Communications

David M. Rubenstein, JD’73, has renewed his commitment to the University of Chicago Law School’s Rubenstein Scholars Program with a $13 million gift that will provide nearly 60 full-tuition scholarships for outstanding students in the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The David M. Rubenstein Scholars Program was established in 2010 with an initial gift from Rubenstein, a University Trustee and the co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group. He renewed his commitment in 2013 to fund an additional 60 three-year scholarships, ensuring that Rubenstein Scholars would account for approximately 10 percent of students at the Law School. The new gift brings Rubenstein’s support for the program to a total of $33 million since 2010.

“The exchange of ideas among students with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences is a fundamental value of the University of Chicago, and it has been a characteristic of the successful Rubenstein Scholars program,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “David’s extraordinary generosity will continue to make a transformative impact in the lives of many outstanding students who are able to attend the Law School without regard to their means. We are deeply grateful for his continued support of this important program.”

Dean Thomas J. Miles, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics, said the program has been enormously successful and beneficial for the entire Law School.

“David’s inspiring gift has transformed the Law School,” Miles said. “His generosity makes it possible for some of our brightest applicants to receive the very best legal education—a University of Chicago legal education.”

The scholarship program has also opened up career opportunities, making it possible for recipients to pursue paths without the added burden of student-loan debt.

“The Rubenstein Scholarship has vastly improved my quality of life in law school, helped mitigate the stresses of 1L year and has given me unparalleled freedom to do what I want early in my career,” said a Rubenstein Scholar from the Class of 2017.

It is an advantage that Rubenstein, who attended the Law School on a full-tuition scholarship, knows well. Two years after graduating, he was able to leave his law firm job to serve in government, working as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments before joining Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. Between 1977 and 1981, Rubenstein was Carter’s deputy assistant for domestic policy. Later, Rubenstein practiced law in Washington D.C. before co-founding The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $175 billion from 35 offices around the world.

“The connections and experiences I gained at the Law School put me on a career path that would not have been possible had I not received a scholarship,” Rubenstein said. “I’m indebted to the Law School for what it has given to me, and I am grateful to be able to pay it forward.”

The program brings benefits beyond the direct aid to Rubenstein Scholars, Miles said. “It has allowed our existing student aid to reach further, and it has created a virtuous cycle of superb students attracting other superb students and the star faculty who desire to teach them.”

The gift from Rubenstein is part of the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in University history, which will raise $4.5 billion and engage 125,000 alumni by to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University by 2019.