FAU Receives $1 Million from Rubin and Cindy Gruber


Rubin and Cindy Gruber

By brittany sylvestri | 6/25/2019

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.

"The Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox represents the jewel in the crown of our evolving vision of the modern academic library, an ongoing transformation of library spaces and services to meet the needs of today’s students,” said Carol Hixson, dean of University Libraries.

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.”