Award presented at annual gala chaired by Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Foundation for the National Archives presented its eighth annual Records of Achievement Award to philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. The tribute was presented Wednesday night at the Foundation's annual black-tie gala, which was co-chaired by Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg.
The lead sponsors of the event were the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation and AT&T Services, Inc., with additional support from Mars, Incorporated.
The Records of Achievement Award, the Foundation's highest honor, is the annual tribute to an individual whose work has cultivated a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of primary sources. The honoree's accomplishments reflect the Foundation's mission: To elevate the stories found in the billions of documents, photographs, maps, films, and recordings in the National Archives' holdings in a manner that fosters a fuller understanding of the American experience. The recipients of the Records of Achievement Award help inspire a deeper appreciation of the country, its democratic ideals, and the rich heritage of its people.
Previous recipients include: Tom Brokaw, Ken Burns, Brian Lamb and C-SPAN, the late John Hope Franklin, Annette Gordon-Reed, David McCullough, and James McPherson.
Rubenstein, a generous supporter of the National Archives and its Foundation, was honored for his loan of the 1297 Magna Carta as well as a rare Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence to the National Archives for public display. He also was recognized for lending a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation to the White House, a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence to the State Department, and the first official map of the United States published after the Revolution to the Library of Congress.
"David shares the Foundation's enthusiasm for introducing new audiences to the National Archives, making him a strong and committed partner in our efforts to educate the public about the wonderful work of this agency," Ken Lore, Chairman and President of the Foundation, said in presenting the award. "Thanks to his generosity, the National Archives Experience will soon enhance its space in the National Archives Building as we open the new David M. Rubenstein Gallery."
The new permanent exhibition space will feature a newly re-encased Magna Carta and will tell much more of the American story by linking the document to the U.S. Charters of Freedom and to modern-day struggles to perfect democracy, focusing on the experiences of African Americans, women, and immigrants.
"David is a passionate advocate for the National Archives and for educating all Americans about our shared history," said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. "We owe him a debt of gratitude for helping to preserve the historical record and for his willingness to share these important original documents with the American people."
Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager. A magna cum laude graduate of Duke, Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. After practicing law in New York, he served from 1975-76 as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-81, during the Carter Administration, Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service, he practiced law at a private firm in Washington, and then co-founded The Carlyle Group in 1987.
The Foundation's annual gala, which includes the awards ceremony in the Archives' William G. McGowan Theater and an elegant seated dinner in the Rotunda Galleries, celebrates the public-private partnership between the National Archives and Records Administration and the nonprofit Foundation for the National Archives.
In accepting the award, Rubenstein said he never intended "to make a career out of buying historic documents."
"But I fell in love with the idea that Americans should know much more about their history than they really do, and that my little part would be buying and preserving and placing in important places some of these important documents," he said. "It's a way to repay a large debt I have to the country -- and these are small repayments."
Rubenstein, who was accompanied by his wife Alice Rogoff, parents Betty and Bob Rubenstein, and daughter and son-in-law Alexa and Evan Rachlin, said he was "humbled" by the large turnout for the ceremony and gala, which drew more than 250 guests.
In addition to gala co-chairs Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg, Foundation President Ken Lore and his wife Pat, and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and his wife Gail Zimmermann, the exclusive event drew distinguished guests from the civic and cultural community. Among them were Maris S. Cuneo, Peter Cuneo, and Jacqueline Badger Mars.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao attended the event, as did David Sandler, current associate counsel to the President, and Abby Cook-Mack and Rajesh De, staff secretary to the President, and Ariel De.
Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia and his wife Janis joined the festivities, as did U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS).
Other attendees included The Washingtonian Publisher Catherine Merrill Williams and Paul Williams of MicroStrategy, and philanthropists Clarice Smith and her daughter Michelle Smith.
Also joining the celebration were past presidents of the Foundation for the National Archives, Larry O'Brien and wife Helen, and Tom Wheeler and wife Carol. Board members Pat Butler and wife Donna, A'Lelia Bundles and Fred Cooke, Bitsey Folger and Sidney Werkman, Marvin Weissberg and Judith Morris, and Gov. Jim Blanchard and Janet Blanchard also attended, as did Michael and Afsaneh Beschloss and many other members of the Foundation's Board and the Society for the National Archives.
The evening concluded with a champagne toast and dessert on the south portico of the National Archives Building.
About the Foundation for the National Archives
The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives' private-sector partner in the creation of and ongoing support of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, and historical/records-related products, publications, and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives by presenting the depth and diversity of the records through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs. It generates financial and creative support for the National Archives Experience from individuals, foundations, and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.
About the National Archives Experience
The National Archives Experience, created by the National Archives in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, has transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives' Washington, DC building, and includes a renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the award-winning Public Vaults permanent interactive exhibition, the William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery for special exhibits, and the Boeing Learning Center. In addition, the Foundation has taken the Archives nationwide through online initiatives such as the Digital Vaults online exhibit and DocsTeach, a web-based educational resource. These components make the rich resources of the National Archives accessible to Americans nationwide.
SOURCE Foundation for the National Archives