October 31, 2014

New building for south side of Midway

In honor of David M. Rubenstein’s (J.D. ‘73) significant monetary gift to the University, a new building under his name will be constructed on the south side of the Midway. The Rubenstein Forum will serve as a “social space” for students and faculty, in addition to hosting conferences, workshops, and lectures.

While the selection process for an architect starts this fall, construction is not set to begin until 2016. The building will be located along East 60th Street between South Woodlawn and South Kimbark Avenues, next to the present Charles Stewart Mott building.

The building continues a trend in the University’s efforts to expand facilities south of the Midway Plaisance. Relatively new facilities there range from the well-known South Campus Residence Hall and Logan Center for the Arts to the new Chicago Theological Seminary building, an office building at 6051–57 South Drexel Avenue, the renovated 6045 South Kenwood Avenue building for University IT services, and the South Campus Athletic Field.

University President Robert J. Zimmer envisions the new physical space as a location for the exchange of ideas among members of the UChicago community. “By offering new physical capacity for convening and exchange, the David M. Rubenstein Forum will contribute significantly to the University’s character as an intellectual destination,” Zimmer said in a press release.

The creation of the Rubenstein Forum marks the continuation of a long relationship between the University and David M. Rubenstein. In 2010, Rubenstein gifted $10 million to the Law School to create 60 full-tuition scholarships for the Classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016. This scholarship program was renewed in 2013 to ensure that 60 additional full-tuition scholarships would be awarded to the Law School Classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Rubenstein is a trustee of the University and the co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, a large private equity firm that manages more than $203 billion in assets, according to the firm’s website.

When asked about the possible effects of the new Rubenstein Forum on future developments south of the Midway, Susie Allen, a University spokesperson, said in an e-mail, “No decisions have been made about the footprint of the building and how that might affect other University property.”