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Published On: Mon, Jun 1st, 2015

Chuck Lorre, UCLA partner for ‘Big Bang Theory’ scholarship

The UCLA scholarship endowment has raised $4 million to date, including an initial donation from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation combined with gifts from people associated with the show, The Big Bang Theory, including series stars, executive producers and crew, and partners such as WBTV and CBS.

Lorre called the scholarship a “natural evolution” to what he and his team have been doing on the show for eight years.

“When we first discussed it, we realized that when Big Bang started, this freshman class were 10-year-old,” he said. “Some of them grew up watching the show, and maybe the show had influence on some of them choosing to pursue science as a lifetime goal. Wouldn’t it be great if we can help.”

The Big Bang Theory scholarship will initially launch with 20 students, mostly freshmen, for the 2015–16 academic year, with an additional five scholarship to be added in each future academic year.

UCLA has more urgent financial aid needs than Cal Tech, where the fictional characters work.

Lorre said. “Unlike Caltech, which is a much smaller, private operation, UCLA had a need for rich scholarships for high performing STEM students who financially are falling short for getting great education,” he said.

the-big-bang-theory-season-7-finale casat photo happy for Raj“We had to decide how to best spend the money, and Caltech didn’t have the same need.”

Lorre and his team are looking at ideas to expand the scholarship to other institutions in and out of state, including Cal Tech.

The initial plan is to stay local (Big Bang is produced in Los Angeles), so “we get the opportunity to personally know the scholars,” Lorre said.

The inaugural group of recipients will be announced in fall 2015 on the set of The Big Bang Theory, and they will likely have a continuous presence on the show, visiting from time to time.

We will meet the first 20 in the fall and will be able to give them personal attention,” Lorre said.

The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment is slated to go on way beyond the lifespan of the show that started it. Lorre is confident that there is enough funds to keep supporting STEM students for years to come. “There is no end date,” he said.

 

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