‘The Big Bang Theory’ and its executive producer Chuck Lorre have created The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment to provide financial aid to low-income UCLA students who are pursuing a STEM-based education.
The Big Bang Theory Scholarship will be given 20 students, many of them freshman, this coming academic year.
The endowment raised $4 million with contributions from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, WBTV, CBS, and cast and crewmembers from ‘The Big Bang Theory’.
In an interview, Lorre stated he wanted to give financial aid to young viewers that watch ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and were inspired to go into scientific fields.
“When he first discussed it, we realized that when ‘Big Bang’ started, this freshman class were 10-years-old. Some of them grew up watching the show, and maybe the show had influence on some of them to pursue science as a lifetime goal. Wouldn’t it be great if we can help?”
As many of you know, the characters on ‘Big Bang’ work at Caltech, but Lorre stated even though he hopes to expand the scholarship to other universities, UCLA felt like a better choice.
“Unlike Caltech, which is a much smaller, private operation, UCLA had a need for rich scholarships for high performing STEM students who financially are falling short for getting great education. We had to decide how to best spend the money, and Caltech didn’t have the same need.”
UCLA does have a significant influence on ‘The Big Bang Theory’. UCLA physics and astronomy professor David Saltzberg, Ph.D. serves as the science consultant on the show, and star Mayim Bialik attended UCLA where she received her Ph.D. in neuroscience.