Geffen Academy at UCLA Launches with $100 Million Gift
A message of thanks from Chancellor Block to David Geffen for his generous gift establishing an innovative college preparatory school.
I am enormously pleased to announce an exciting new UCLA initiative: an innovative college preparatory school for students in grades 6 through 12. The creation of the school is being made possible by the extraordinary and continued generosity of David Geffen, who has donated $100 million, which will allow us to move forward with important startup work such as faculty and curriculum development and facilities planning. The school will be named the Geffen Academy at UCLA.
One of our priorities is to enhance access to high-quality education, and the gift will help fund a robust financial aid program for low- and middle-income families. The donation also will allow our Graduate School of Education and Information Studies to connect the academy to our network of primary and secondary partner schools.
To house the academy, we plan to renovate the Kinross Building on campus, and we plan to construct an adjacent building as enrollment increases.
The Geffen Academy will offer a world-class education to a diverse group of students from across greater Los Angeles and the children of UCLA faculty and staff. Curriculum and programming — to be shaped with input from the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and other campus units — will be based on evidence that secondary school students develop their full potential when they are engaged in solving the critical problems that confront our society.
At the Geffen Academy, students will be exposed to the richness of life and learning at UCLA, from the arts and athletics to the sciences and humanities. The Geffen Academy — like the UCLA Community School and the UCLA Lab School — will aspire to be a model for 21st century education and allow our campus to participate more deeply in the essential conversation about improving education in Los Angeles and throughout our nation.
As a leading public university, UCLA has a responsibility to enrich our community. We also must offer services that help us recruit and retain the type of extraordinary faculty and staff who have helped fuel UCLA’s rapid ascent to become one of the world’s great institutions of higher education. The Geffen Academy will achieve these goals and will strengthen our ability to deliver on UCLA’s grand mission.
There already has been considerable faculty and staff input in the academy’s design and strategic plan. Additional opportunities for input will be available as we prepare to open the school to sixth- and ninth-grade students for the 2017–18 academic year. Although the school is not yet accepting applications, more information is available at the Geffen Academy at UCLA website.
For now, let us celebrate David Geffen’s vision and remarkable generosity and our shared commitment to providing a high-quality education that will prepare a greater number of children for college and for life beyond.
Gene D. Block
Nov. 11, 2015