Published On: Tue, Jun 25th, 2019

FAU Receives $1 Million from Rubin and Cindy Gruber


Boca Raton, FL  Florida Atlantic University officially announced a $1 million gift from Rubin and Cindy Gruber to establish The Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox and to support student scholarships through their endowment.

The Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox will house the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science’s Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab (MPCR) within the S.E. Wimberly Library at FAU’s Boca Raton campus. The gift will support renovating a 3,400-square-foot resource center designed to cater to students from across the University. Students will be able to directly engage with the fast-advancing field of artificial intelligence.

Combining computing and neuroscience, this transformative field opens the door to new discoveries for everything from robotics to Alzheimer’s disease detection. Led by co-directors Elan Barenholtz, Ph.D., and William Edward Hahn, Ph.D., the MPCR has produced high profile research and created strong community partnerships with local industries.

 “With the generous gift from Rubin and Cindy Gruber, students and faculty can come together from any college or division at FAU to participate, create and innovate for the greater good,” said Ata Sarajedini, Ph.D., dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “My hope is that the Sandbox is just the beginning of many interdisciplinary partnerships that help shape the future of research and academic inquiry. This project is exemplar of how science reaches beyond the college’s walls and plays a fundamental role across the University.”

Rubin and Cindy Gruber are entrepreneurs and philanthropists who have demonstrated an expanding commitment to the mission, vision, and objectives of the University as evidenced by the creation of the Rubin and Cindy Gruber Endowment Fund at FAU last year. The Grubers also spend a considerable amount of time mentoring FAU students.

Rubin Gruber founded several telecommunications, data communications, and digital networking companies throughout his 40-year career. In 2001, he was named one of Tech 100’s “Highest Rollers” by Forbes magazine. Cindy Gruber had a successful marketing management career that spanned 25 years and produced an award-winning documentary film.

“This gift is about more than just the money, said Cindy Gruber. “It will provide hope for the future, and a connection to a younger generation through friendship and mentoring.”

Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Inc.:

The Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Inc. unbridles access to excellence for thousands of the University’s promising people and programs. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Foundation connects private philanthropy with giving opportunities that advance the University’s mission and strategic plan. Operating under the auspices of the Division of Institutional Advancement, the Foundation also serves as fiduciary, caring for and distributing gift assets in accordance with our donors’ wishes.

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit  

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