A $2 million gift from Mitchell Rubenstein and his wife, Laurie Silvers, will support Jewish student life by funding Hillel programs at Duke University, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead announced Monday.
At its meeting on Friday, Duke's Board of Trustees voted to name the center the Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel at Duke University.
"Mitchell Rubenstein and Laurie Silvers have enhanced student life throughout the Duke community by their keen interest and enthusiastic support," Brodhead said. "Their gift will help to assure that Jewish student life at Duke will continue to flourish through cultural and educational programming, which will enrich the experience of all of our students."
Rubenstein and Silvers, both South Florida media entrepreneurs, are the parents of a Duke junior.
"Laurie and I are particularly glad to make this gift to a university that values a range of social and cultural experiences," Rubenstein said. "Duke's leadership and its students have demonstrated their interest and strong commitment to the Jewish community."
The Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel is located at Duke's Freeman Center for Jewish Life. Rubenstein serves as chairman of the Freeman Center advisory board.
Silvers is a University of Miami trustee and a member of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Fla. Through the Women of Tomorrow program, she serves as a mentor for high-risk teenage girls. Silvers is a recipient of the 2006 Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award.
Rubenstein and Silvers are the founders of the Sci-Fi Channel, which they sold to USA Network. Their current business interests include radio stations, cable TV systems and Internet properties.