Leon Levy Foundation Donates $20 Million to the Institute for Advanced Study
Major Gift Will Permanently Endow the Directorship
The Leon Levy Foundation has donated $20 million to the Institute for Advanced Study. This gift reflects continued support of the Institute by Trustee Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation, which was created on the death of Ms. White’s husband, Leon Levy, a leading financier who served on the Institute’s Board of Trustees for 15 years and as Vice Chairman and President of the Corporation from 1995–2003.
“This magnificent gift from the Leon Levy Foundation will help to further strengthen the Institute’s endowment, which is essential to our continued success as a research institution of the highest standard,” said Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute and Leon Levy Professor. “Shelby White’s and the Foundation’s stalwart support has sustained important areas of research at the Institute, including the formation of an archives center and program, and this most recent donation moves us closer to our $200 million campaign goal. I am honored to be the first to hold the new endowed Directorship.”
Ms. White, founding Trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation, said, “My husband would have been proud to have the Institute directorship named in his honor. He was a great believer in the Institute’s mission and work, and he, personally, devoted many hours to its success. The Foundation is pleased that it can continue to support the Institute’s important initiatives.”
This major gift will be increased by $5 million from the $100 million challenge grant made by the Simons Foundation and the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences in 2011 to create a $25 million Leon Levy Endowment Fund. In recognition of the gift, the Institute Director will carry a new title and titular professorship, Director and Leon Levy Professor, which will be permanently associated with the position. This donation brings the capital campaign total to nearly $48 million, of a $100 million goal to meet the challenge grant from the Simons Foundation and Simonyi Fund.
The Leon Levy Foundation has continually supported the Institute in significant ways. The New Initiatives Fund established by Mr. Levy and Ms. White in 1998 helped to promote progress in new and important programs such as systems biology and theoretical computer science, and to support emerging research in mathematics and astrophysics. Since the 2005–06 academic year, the Foundation has sponsored a Leon Levy Member in the School of Social Science. Past Leon Levy Members have included economists and political scientists who, through the support of the Foundation, have also delivered lectures on the nature of their work while in residence at the Institute. The Foundation funded the new landscaping of the courtyard entrance to Fuld Hall, completed in 2009, as well as other landscape improvements, and it supported a historic landscape study to fully understand the development of the Institute’s campus. A $3.5 million gift from the Foundation in 2009 funded the creation of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, which is enabling the conservation and collection of the Institute’s current and future holdings of records and historical documents, Faculty papers, oral histories, photographs and other significant documentation.
About the Leon Levy Foundation
The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, an investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation’s overarching goal is to support scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.
About the Institute for Advanced Study
The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. The Institute exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanitiesthe original, often speculative thinking that produces advances in knowledge that change the way we understand the world. Work at the Institute takes place in four Schools: Historical Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Science. It provides for the mentoring of scholars by a permanent Faculty of no more than 28, and it offers all who work there the freedom to undertake research that will make significant contributions in any of the broad range of fields in the sciences and humanities studied at the Institute.
The Institute, founded in 1930, is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. Its more than 6,000 former Members hold positions of intellectual and scientific leadership throughout the academic world. Some 33 Nobel Laureates and 38 out of 52 Fields Medalists, as well as many winners of the Wolf or MacArthur prizes, have been affiliated with the Institute.