Board of Trustees Chair David Rubenstein, Trinity '70, will be the commencement speaker May 14, the University announced Monday.

Rubenstein is co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm started in 1987 that currently manages more than $175 billion. He is also a philanthropist, who has donated to restorations for the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Memorial as well as the Washington Monument in 2011. Rubenstein has also been a donor to Duke, having contributed more than $33 million to Duke Libraries, the Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke athletics.

“David Rubenstein is a spectacular example of the power of education,” President Richard Brodhead said in a Duke Today release. “He came to Duke on financial aid as the first member of his family to attend college. Later, he founded Carlyle as an entrepreneurial venture. His business success then enabled him to create a model of what he calls ‘patriotic philanthropy’ that has restored national treasures and made them accessible to the public. He is a famously brilliant and witty speaker, and I know that students and families will enjoy his remarks."

Currently set to leave the Board of Trustees next July, Rubenstein said he was looking forward to delivering the commencement address to hard-working students and the families supporting them. 

“I am eager to celebrate the accomplishments and aspirations of the Class of 2017,” Rubenstein said. “If you are a Duke graduate, being asked to give the commencement address is one of the greatest honors you can receive."

Last year, men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke at commencement. In previous years, famous alums such as Partners in Health co-founder Paul Farmer, General Martin Dempsey and Melinda Gates have also spoken.

After graduating from Duke in 1970, Rubenstein earned his law degree from the University of Chicago. He practiced in New York before serving as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, and he later worked in the White House during the administration of former president Jimmy Carter.

In the release, Rubenstein said he was planning to offer his thoughts on life, but also recognized the importance of keeping his speech brief.

“In return, I look forward to offering some thoughts on life to the students who have worked so hard to get to get their degrees, the family and friends who supported them, and their faculty mentors," he said. "Most importantly, I recognize the obligation of a commencement speaker to be brief.”