Hollywood entertainment mogul David Geffen has donated $200 million to the UCLA school of medicine (University of California, Los Angeles). It is the largest single gift to a medical school in the United States.
There were broad smiles at UCLA as university officials announced what they called a "dream" donation. It comes from the man who co-founded the entertainment production company DreamWorks SKG.
Gerald Levey, the dean of the UCLA medical school, says the gift is huge. More importantly, he says the school can decide how to spend it. "As far as I know, a gift of this magnitude is unique," he said. "And to have a gift of this magnitude that is unrestricted, probably unheard of in the history of American schools of medicine."
David Geffen is a major power broker in Hollywood. He made his fortune in the music industry with a roster of stars that included John Lennon, Elton John and Donna Summer. He also produced movies and Broadway musicals. In 1994, he formed the DreamWorks studio with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.
Mr. Geffen's net worth is estimated at nearly $4 billion and he is known for his philanthropy. He has donated millions for AIDS research and earlier gave $5 million to UCLA for a campus theater. It is known as the Geffen Playhouse. The university's medical school will be renamed the David Geffen School of Medicine.
Doctor Levey says the $200 million donation will help train students and expand research into such areas as vaccines and genetics.