David Geffen

$100 million donation will enable UCLA to launch school for grades 6 to 12

Nov. 12, 2015
Entertainment mogul David Geffen provides funds for college prep academy on the Westwood campus

Using a $100 million donation from entertainment industry mogul David Geffen, the University of California, Los Angeles, will create a college preparatory school for Los Angeles-area students in grades six through 12.

Geffen Academy at UCLA is expected to open for the 2017–18 school year, with about 125 students enrolled in grades six to nine. Eventually, the school will accommodate more than 600 students in grades 6 through 12. Enrollment will be split equally between children from the Los Angeles community and children of UCLA faculty and staff.

“The Geffen Academy at UCLA will enhance our ability to deliver on the mission that is at the core of our DNA--research that informs teaching, and service to our community," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block says.

Block says the academy will help UCLA recruit and retain top faculty, whose career decisions are often influenced by the availability of college preparatory education for their children

To house the academy, UCLA plans to renovate the campus’s Kinross Building. As enrollment grows, the university intends to construct an adjacent building. Geffen's donation will help pay for facility renovations, faculty and curriculum development, and a financial aid program for students from low- and middle-income families. UCLA projects that more than 40 percent of students will receive aid.

The university says the Geffen school will have a goal of challenging students to become critical thinkers who demonstrate competency not just in core intellectual pillars, but across a broad spectrum of coursework. Students will have access to learning opportunities and university facilities beyond those offered at more traditional secondary schools.

With the most recent donation, Geffen's gifts to UCLA now exceed $400 million. In 2012, he established a $100 million scholarship fund for students attending the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The medical school also received an unrestricted gift of $200 million from Geffen in 2002.

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