Entertainment Mogul Geffen to Donate $200 Million in Unrestricted Funds to UCLA Medical School
Entertainment industry executive David Geffen will donate $200 million to the University of California-Los Angeles School of Medicine, the largest single gift to a U.S. medical school in history, the Los Angeles Times reports. The donation, to be announced today, will be unrestricted, an "unusual step for a major donor," and will give the school a "free hand in deciding how to use the money." UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale said, "This is a university's dream kind of gift. Mr. Geffen has not asked for a specific building, or a specific program, or a specific professorship, or the development of a specific clinical procedure or for the treatment of a specific disease. What he's done is to ensure that the people best able to make those decisions in the future are in the position to make those decisions." The 50-year-old medical school will be renamed the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The donation, which will "dramatically expand" the medical school's endowment, will go to "general interests including student financial aid and training medical scientists," the Times reports. The donation also will be used to expand research into genetics and vaccines, according to Gerald Levey, dean of the medical school and UCLA's provost for medical sciences. In a statement, Geffen, a former music executive and co-founder of the entertainment company Dreamworks SKG, said the purpose of the donation is "to support one of the most innovative medical schools in the world" and to "inspire others to do the same." The previous record for a cash donation to a U.S. medical school was a $110-million gift to the University of Southern California by the W.M. Keck Foundation in 1999 (Silverstein/Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 5/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.