Former MGM Owner Kirk Kerkorian Gifts $200 Mil to UCLA

L.A. university is to use funds for medical research, scholarships and charitable programs.

The Lincy Foundation, a charitable program established by billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul and former MGM movie studio owner Kirk Kerkorian, has donated $200 million to the University of California Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. UCLA will reportedly use half of the gift to fund various scholarships, medical research and miscellaneous projects. The Westwood-based university has been allotted the other half to be used for charitable programs and causes.

Terms of the Lincy Foundation agreement states that the funds will be transferred to a new organization called the Dream Fund that will be based at UCLA.

Kerkorian, 93, made his fortune in the early 1960s, when he purchased property in Las Vegas that eventually became the site of Caesars Palace, which first rented and then purchased the land from him in 1968, earning the entrepreneur $9 million in total.

A year later, in 1969, Kerkorian purchased MGM studios, which he later sold in 2005 to a consortium led by Sony. He retained a 55% stake in MGM Mirage. He also established and sold various MGM Grand hotels in Las Vegas and Reno, and is the largest stockholder of MGM Resorts International, a firm that owns Las Vegas' MGM Grand Resort, the Mirage and the Bellagio hotels

The exorbitant donation to UCLA announced Monday marks the second time in two months that UCLA has been gifted $100 million. In January, UCLA alumnus Meyer Luskin also gifted the school with $100 million.

A Lincy Foundation representative told the L.A. Times that UCLA was chosen as the recipient of the $200 million financial gift because the foundation has given the campus about $70 million in previous gifts and has been pleased with the way the money was used.

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