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Entertainment industry veteran David Geffen has made a donation that establishes a $100 million scholarship fund that will cover the cost of education for the best students attending the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The school was named after him following a $200 million gift in 2002. With the latest donation, Geffen’s total philanthropic support for UCLA exceeds $300 million, making him the largest individual donor to UCLA.
The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund, unveiled Thursday, “ensures that DGSOM will have students who graduate from medical school debt-free, allowing them to pursue lifesaving research and patient care without the economic burdens that restrict the choices of many young physicians and scientists,” the school said.
“The cost of a world-class medical education should not deter our future innovators, doctors and scientists from the path they hope to pursue,” Geffen said. “We need the students at this world-class institution to be driven by determination and the desire to do their best work and not by the fear of crushing debt.”
Said UCLA chancellor Gene Block: “With this game-changing gift, Mr. Geffen has invested in the medical education and training of some of the world’s brightest and most talented young people, influencing medical research and patient care for generations to come.”
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 86 percent of medical school graduates had educational debt in 2012. Their average debt amounted to $170,000.
The annual cost of tuition, fees and health insurance for a UCLA medical student in 2012–2013 is approximately $38,000, the school said. Including room and board, books and supplies and other costs, that figure rises to $67,000 per year.
The $100 million David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund will provide four-year financial support for up to 33 M.D. students, or 20 percent of the available spots, starting with the entering class of 2013–2014.
Recently, Geffen teamed with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, his partners in DreamWorks Animation, to each donate $30 million to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, a Hollywood charity.
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