October 16, 2015 – Burbank, CA) – Launching “The Big Bang Theory” Scholarship Endowment, the inaugural 20 UCLA scholars were announced Thursday, October 15, on Stage 25 at Warner Bros. Studios, the set of the hit comedy series. Joining the scholars were the show’s stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, alongside executive producers Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and Steven Molaro, and representatives from UCLA, CBS, Warner Bros. Television and select benefactors.
Previously announced in May, “The Big Bang Theory” Scholarship Endowment, the first-ever UCLA scholarship created by and named for a television series, was established to support undergraduate students in need of financial aid who are pursuing their higher education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at UCLA.
With an initial donation from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation combined with gifts from nearly 50 individuals associated with “The Big Bang Theory” — including series stars, producers and crew — plus partners such as Warner Bros. Television and CBS, as well as contributions from other industry leaders, “The Big Bang Theory” Scholarship and Endowment has raised more than $4 million to date.
Information on “The Big Bang Theory” Scholarship Endowment:
- Twenty (20) “Big Bang Theory” scholars have been selected for the 2015–16 academic year to receive financial assistance, with an additional five scholars to be added in each future academic year — in perpetuity. “The Big Bang Theory” Scholarship is awarded based on financial need to low-income students who have earned admission to UCLA on their own academic merit but need additional support to bridge the gap between typical levels of financial aid and the cost of attendance.
- For the 2015-16 academic year, there are seven female and 13 male “Big Bang Theory” scholars pursuing degrees in a wide variety of majors, including physics; astrophysics; chemistry; applied mathematics; biology; marine biology; molecular, cell and developmental biology; integrative biology and physiology; bioengineering; neuroscience; computer science; aerospace engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
- In addition to centering many of its episodes in the worlds of science and technology, “The Big Bang Theory” enjoys a healthy appreciation and support from the scientific community at large. And the show’s connection to UCLA extends beyond the scholarship fund: Series star Mayim Bialik earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, while professor of physics and astronomy David Saltzberg, Ph.D., serves as the show’s science consultant.
- At UCLA, 52 percent of all students receive need-based scholarships, grants or other aid. That includes approximately 36 percent of undergraduates who receive Pell Grants, federal aid for students from low-income families. Almost one-third of UCLA graduates have parents who didn’t graduate from a four-year college or university.
About “The Big Bang Theory”:
“The Big Bang Theory” stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. Created by Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady, the series is produced by Chuck Lorre Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and is executive produced by Lorre, Prady and showrunner Steven Molaro. Now in its ninth season, “The Big Bang Theory” airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS, and five nights a week in national syndication. On November 5, the series returns to its regular timeslot – Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.
UCLA is California’s largest university, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College and the university’s 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 128 undergraduate majors, 88 master’s programs and 110 doctoral and professional programs. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Seven alumni and six faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.