The University of California, Los Angeles has announced a $100 million gift from David Geffen in support of a college preparatory academy for students in grades six through twelve.
The gift will support facility renovations, curriculum development, and other activities needed to open the Geffen Academy at UCLA in time for the 2017-18 school year and will also help fund a financial aid program and establish a $30 million endowment, $5 million of which will enable the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies to link the academy with the university's existing network of primary and secondary partner schools. The university's current partner schools include the on-campus UCLA Lab School (PK-6), the UCLA Community School (K-12), and four public schools near campus that are open to children of UCLA employees.
The academy, which emerged from a suggestion made by Geffen, will challenge its students to become critical thinkers who are able to demonstrate competency across a spectrum of transdisciplinary twenty-first-century coursework. To that end, students will have access to college-level learning opportunities and facilities, including world-class cultural and athletics programs, a state-of-the-art medical school, cutting-edge research labs, and a range of community service opportunities. The gift brings to $400 million Geffen's support for UCLA to date, making him the largest individual donor to the university in its history.
"With the Geffen Academy and in partnership with our other schools, UCLA is building an educational network that bridges research and practice with residencies, mentoring, and twenty-first century measures of improvement," said Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. "We are working with the best teachers and scholars to adapt and broadly share twenty-first century innovations with schools across Los Angeles and beyond."