UCLA announced Monday it has received an additional $46 million gift from longtime supporter and entertainment mogul David Geffen, which brings the amount of the David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund to $146 million.
The latest gift will enable 120 more students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to benefit from the fund, bringing the total number of students expected to receive awards to 414 over a 10-year period, according to a UCLA statement.
The scholarships, consisting of full tuition and a living stipend, have helped UCLA attract a broader array of exceptional medical school candidates, it said. The number of applications increased more than 50 percent between 2013 and 2018, when the school received an all-time high of more than 14,000. Nearly one of every four U.S. medical school applicants applies to UCLA.
“Mr. Geffen’s groundbreaking contributions have inspired others across the nation to assist more students with the cost of their medical education,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “His support has made it possible for UCLA to lead the way.”
Reducing debt enables graduates to pursue additional paths of study that help them become leaders in their fields or devote themselves fully to patient care. That is significant in California, where physician shortages are a growing challenge. Seventy-three percent of 2019 Geffen Scholar graduates are pursuing residency training in California, and 63 percent of all Geffen Scholar graduates are training in California, UCLA said.
“The Geffen Scholars program is helping our medical students enhance their training with research and scholarly activities that prepare them to be leaders in health care,” said Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor for UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health. “In addition to practicing medicine, they will be game changers for their profession and experts in areas such as health care policy, medical innovation and community well-being.”
Geffen created the scholarship fund in 2012 with a $100 million gift. The reinvestment brings his total giving to UCLA to more than $450 million, including nearly $250 million during the Centennial Campaign for UCLA, which will conclude on Dec. 31. The medical school was named in his honor after a $200 million gift in 2002.
“The Geffen Scholars program is life-altering for our students and their future patients,” said Dr. Kelsey Martin, dean of the Geffen School of Medicine. “Mr. Geffen’s generosity has remarkable ripple effects.”