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AU Memo Letterhead

Memorandum November 1, 2019

AU Community
Sylvia M. Burwell, President
Trustees Join Together to Support East Campus

Continuing our momentum of significant gifts that support American University’s mission and community, today I write to share a special announcement of a combined multimillion-dollar commitment. This philanthropy supports the East Campus development project, an expansion of our campus that strengthened the undergraduate residential community. In recognition of lead gifts from current and former Board of Trustees members, American University will name East Campus’ Congressional Hall and its lobby the Marc N. Duber and Nancy E. Duber Hall and the Stuart and Wilma Bernstein Lobby.

These namings honor passionate service and dedication to AU from Marc N. Duber, Kogod/BSBA ’81, chair of the AU Board of Trustees, and Nancy Duber, CAS/BGS ’82; and Ambassador Stuart A. Bernstein, Kogod/BS ’60, trustee emeritus, and Wilma Estrin Bernstein, CAS/BA ’60. This commitment also includes a gift from an anonymous individual to inspire support for the East Campus development project.

The pairing of Duber Hall and Bernstein Lobby reflects long relationships, both personal and professional, that these Eagle families have with American University and each other. AU fostered lifelong connections for each couple—Marc and Nancy met as students, and Stuart Bernstein has been a mentor, business partner, and friend to Marc for more than 40 years, a relationship that began in 1979 when Marc was a very involved student leader and Stuart a young trustee.

Stuart later offered Marc an internship that blossomed into a business partnership spanning decades. Their relationship has continued through Marc’s own tenure on the AU Board of Trustees. Marc became a member in 2007 and was appointed as chair in 2019. A true example of “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle,” Stuart is recognized as one of the university’s longest serving trustees, having served from 1977 to 1998 and earning the distinction of trustee emeritus.

Marc’s innovative ideas as a student still shape the AU experience. Marc approached the university with his idea for a shuttle to improve access to campus, and together, with support from Stuart and the then Board of Trustees, the AU Shuttle became a reality that serves students to this day.

Reflecting on this gift to East Campus and his long affiliation with AU, Marc said, “College is a formative period of life, and for me AU was home. Nancy and I are proud to support new generations of AU students making this campus their home. We hope that students on East Campus today are inspired to make the most of their time here—whether by joining student clubs, working in the Makerspace next door, or forming friendships with their hallmates.” 

Opened in 2016, East Campus is home to approximately 590 students in state-of-the-art residence halls, as well as the Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building that houses high-tech laboratories, classrooms, and shared research space. Recognizing that East Campus is a vital part of the university’s next chapter, these families were motivated to support the project because of its ability to strengthen community on campus and ensure AU remains competitive with other universities. Stuart said of this gift, “Wilma and I are honored to join Marc and Nancy in supporting AU students through the East Campus project. Our students are active and passionate learners who deserve campus spaces that reflect their dedication to education and community.”

We are deeply grateful to Marc and Nancy Duber and Stuart and Wilma Bernstein for their enduring dedication to their alma mater.