Shelby White Awarded IAS Bamberger Medal

On May 6, 2022 the IAS Bamberger Medal was presented to Shelby White, IAS Trustee Emerita and Founder of the Leon Levy Foundation, at a celebration on the Institute’s campus in Princeton, NJ. Shelby has championed the Institute throughout the four decades since her late husband Leon Levy’s appointment to the Board of Trustees in 1988. She herself served on the IAS Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2019.  

A significant philanthropist of our time, Shelby has made investments of great depth and breadth in the Institute. Her generosity has fortified IAS in innumerable ways, establishing the Leon Levy Professorship—held by the IAS Director—cultivating the cohesive beauty of the Institute’s campus landscape, and providing resources to support scholarly initiatives. Shelby also created the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center to document IAS history and the many significant people who have shaped it. She truly embodies the curiosity and dedication fundamental to the Institute mission.

David Nirenberg, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor, said in his speech, “Very few in the contemporary world have done as much to ensure that humanity’s knowledge is expanded, transmitted, and preserved.” Board of Trustees Chair Charles Simonyi and Vice Chair Nancy Peretsman also spoke at the event, and correspondence was read from landscape architect Patrick Chasse and previous IAS Director Robbert Dijkgraaf. Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway gave a lively musical performance. For the final performance of the evening, Ann Hampton Callaway wrote a song on the spot for Shelby after briefly interviewing her.

The IAS Bamberger Medal, the Institute’s highest honor, is named in honor of Caroline Bamberger Fuld and Louis Bamberger, the sister-and-brother philanthropists who provided the founding $5 million gift to establish IAS as envisioned by the education reformer Abraham Flexner, the Institute’s founding Director.

Watch Celebrating Shelby White and view the photos from the evening.