TV First: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ UCLA Scholarship

By Vince Matthews

“Bazinga!”

The CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory has done something no television show has ever done: It will become the namesake (and prime benefactor) for The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment at UCLA.

Big-Bang-Theory-UCLA-scholarship
The UCLA scholarship was created by, and named for, a television series. A first for any TV show.

Series co-creator and exec producer Chuck Lorre announced the endowment. The fund will support students from low-income communities and help them pursue a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at UCLA.

We’ll share in the support of these future scholars, scientists and leaders.
– Chuck Lorre, co-creator and exec producer, The Big Bang Theory

So far there has been more than $4 million collected through donations from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation and stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik (who is also a UCLA alumnus: She received a Ph.D in neuroscience there), Melissa Rauch and executive producers Bill Prady and Steven Molaro. Warner Bros. Television and CBS, which produce the Emmy award-winning show, also contributed to the endowment.

UCLA has another connection to the show as well: UCLA’s professor of physics and astronomy David Saltzberg serves as the show’s science consultant.

Big on STEM
“We have all been given a gift with The Big Bang Theory, a show that’s not only based in the scientific community, but also enthusiastically supported by that same community — this is our opportunity to give back,” said Lorre. “In that spirit, our ‘Big Bang’ family has made a meaningful contribution, and together we’ll share in the support of these future scholars, scientists and leaders.”

Based on need, the financial aid will be awarded to low-income students who get accepted to UCLA on academic achievement but need additional support to attend the school.

Twenty scholarships will be announced on the set of The Big Bang Theory in Fall 2015. Moving forward, an additional five scholars will be added each year.

Digital Media Academy also offers financial assistance for UCLA students. DMA believes that world-class STEM education should be accessible to students from any economic background.

Want to build robots like Sheldon, or work for NASA and engineer rockets like Wolowitz? A great start is with Digital Media Academy’s STEM camps at UCLA.