2022 Founders Day Celebration

On May 20, 2022, IAS celebrated Founders Day in recognition of Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, the brother and sister who founded and endowed IAS on this day in 1930, providing for its lasting and essential independence. The event, held on campus, began with a toast from Director and Leon Levy Professor David Nirenberg who emphasized, “It is thanks to the ongoing support of thousands of benefactors that the Founders’ experiment remains alive and well almost a century later.”

Following the toast, the Friends held their Annual Meeting and Staff, Members, Faculty, the Director, and a Trustee played in the third annual flag football game. Hardly deterred by a brief thunderstorm and downpour, the event continued with food trucks, a community dinner, and an evening of dancing in Simons Hall.

Football Game
Dan Komoda

During the celebration, several exhibits were displayed, using materials from the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, showcasing the history and vision behind the founding of IAS. Core IAS tenets such as curiosity-driven research, which Director Abraham Flexner had encapsulated in his 1939 Harper’s Magazine essay, "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge," were alive and well on Founders Day.

Three former scholars—Michael HanchardJo Nelson, and Tracy Slatyer—shared their experience at IAS and its influence on their research in a special Founders Day Scholar SpotlightWatch here to learn how IAS is still nourishing independent thinkers and prompting boundary-pushing research. 

To this day, philanthropy remains critical to the Institute—IAS receives no tuition or fees and relies fully on gifts and grants, along with the endowment, to support scholars during their time at IAS. With generous support from Trustees, Friends, AMIAS, numerous foundations, government agencies, and other individuals committed to theoretical research, IAS is able to create a unique environment for scholars to do their best work.