Founders’ Statement on America and Higher Learning

Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld

“It is fundamental in our purpose, and our express desire, that in the appointments to the staff and faculty as well as in the admission of workers and students, no account shall be taken, directly or indirectly, of race, religion, or sex. We feel strongly that the spirit characteristic of America at its noblest, above all the pursuit of higher learning, cannot admit of any conditions as to personnel other than those designed to promote the objects for which this institution is established, and particularly with no regard whatever to accidents of race, creed, or sex.” —IAS philanthropic founders Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, in a letter dated June 4, 1930, to the Institute’s first Board of Trustees

The Institute for Advanced Study, since its founding in 1930, has provided an unbiased environment for international scholars to pursue vital and groundbreaking work in the sciences and humanities. Against the backdrop of Fascism’s rise in Europe and in the best tradition of American higher education, some of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century, immigrants and refugees themselves, found a safe haven at the Institute, among them Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, Erwin Panofsky, and John von Neumann.

In response to President Trump's original January 27, 2017, and subsequent executive orders restricting travel from predominantly Muslim countries, the Institute released several public statements, which may be accessed here. Additionally, three articles and an exhibition produced by a Member-organized History Working Group, which mobilized in response to the orders, may be accessed here.