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New Haven, CT - May 16, 2011 - Patricia and Peter Gruber and Yale University President Richard C. Levin today announced the formation of the Gruber Foundation at Yale University dedicated to the advancement of science, support of young scientists, global justice, and women’s rights. The Gruber Foundation is funded by a landmark contribution from philanthropists Peter and Patricia Gruber.
The Gruber Foundation will succeed The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, originally established in 1993, and carry on its philanthropic mission, including its prestigious annual science prizes.
“We share with Pat and Peter Gruber a deep commitment to educational excellence, social justice, and the recognition of scientific achievements that better the human condition,” said Yale President Richard C. Levin. “We are honored and grateful that the Grubers have entrusted Yale to advance this vital mission in years to come.”
The Gruber Foundation will encompass three major programmatic initiatives: the Gruber Prizes and the Young Scientists Awards; the Gruber Science Fellowship Program at Yale; and the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School.
Patricia Gruber said, “Through our International Prize Program, we have sought to promote excellence in science by highlighting and promoting leadership in fields that create a better world. Yale is an outstanding choice to carry this work forward and, with the Foundation’s expanded programmatic focus, we can have an even greater impact.”
The Gruber Foundation will continue to award three $500,000 Gruber Prizes each year in the physical and life sciences, including a Cosmology Prize, a Genetics Prize, and a Neuroscience Prize, and maintain the Gruber Young Scientists Awards. Considered among the most prestigious awards in the sciences, the prizes honor contemporary individuals whose groundbreaking work provides new models that inspire and enable fundamental shifts in knowledge. Recipients are chosen by independent prize selection panels comprised of experts active in the respective fields. The members of the panels are in turn selected by independent, non-governmental organizations.
In 2010, Gruber prize recipients included astronomer Charles Steidel, whose studies of ancient galaxies have shed light on their formation and evolution over 12 billion years. Gerald R. Fink was recognized for his foundational work in molecular genetics, and neuroscientist Robert H. Wurtz was honored for a forty-year career that helped to launch the field of visual cognition.
The Gruber Foundation will also support the training of new leaders within these key science disciplines through the Gruber Science Fellowship Program at Yale. Providing $2.5 million annually the program will initially provide approximately fifty graduate fellowships each year.
Additionally, the Gruber Foundation will establish the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School. Supporting outreach and education programs that reflect the Foundation’s commitment to furthering global justice and women’s rights, this initiative will have three core components: support for the School’s annual Global Constitutionalism Seminar, bringing constitutional justices to Yale from around the world to foster dialogue and exchange; the Gruber Distinguished Global Justice and Women’s Rights Lectures, featuring guest lecturers; and the Gruber Global Justice and Women’s Rights Fellowships, supporting students and faculty engaged in scholarly exchange in the United States and abroad.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1929, Peter Gruber escaped to India with his parents in 1939, three months before the Second World War engulfed Europe. He was educated in the Himalayas by Irish Christian Brothers and Jesuits, sparking a lifelong dedication to scholarship and human rights. He later came to the United States, where he launched a successful investment career and is recognized as a pioneer in the area of emerging markets.
Patricia Gruber has a background in liberal arts, holding a master’s degree in psychology from Antioch West University and a post-masters’ certificate in psychology from the Psychotherapy Institute in Berkeley. Previously a psychotherapist in private practice in California, she has in recent years devoted herself full time to the Foundation. In 2010, she was awarded a Ph.D. honoris causa from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovat, Israel, for her work with the Foundation.