Yale University has announced a $25 million gift from alumnus Peter Baldwin ('78) and his wife, Lisbet Rausing, toward the restoration of the Hall of Graduate Studies.
The gift will be used to renovate the hall and bring the university's dispersed humanities departments under one roof in a setting conducive to cross-disciplinary teaching and collaboration. The donors have asked that, in tribute to the service of David Swensen ('80, Ph.D.) as the university's chief investment officer, Yale name the hall's iconic tower the David Swensen Tower. Under Swensen's stewardship over the last thirty years, the university's endowment has increased more than fifteen times in value, to $23.9 billion as of June 30, 2014.
Baldwin, a history professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Rausing, a historian and philanthropist, previously donated $25 million to launch the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale in 2011. As individual donors and through their Arcadia Fund, the couple also have supported the digitization of primary materials at the Yale University Library and awarded grants to the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to train conservation professionals in tropical Asia and Central America.
"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine campus space for the humanities," said university provost Ben Polak. "The renovated Hall of Graduate Studies will situate the humanities literally and figuratively at the heart of university life, and stand as a testament to Yale’s enduring commitment to the vibrancy and centrality of the humanities."