Friends and family of the late entertainer Garry Shandling gathered on February 4, 2019, for the dedication of the Garry Shandling Learning Studio in Geffen Hall. Joined by UCLA faculty and medical students, they celebrated the life and legacy of Shandling, who died in March 2016, as a man who will be remembered not only for his brilliant career, but also for his generosity and kindness. UCLA received a bequest of $15.2 million from Shandling’s estate, which will advance work in the UCLA Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension; the Division of Infectious Diseases; and the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases. It also will help accelerate research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Judd Apatow, director and producer of the 2018 HBO documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, served as event emcee. Dr. John C. Mazziotta (RES ’81, FEL ’83), vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health, and Dr. Kelsey C. Martin, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Gerald S. Levey, M.D., Endowed Chair, spoke about the impact of Shandling’s gift on the future of science and medicine and the importance of the 6,400-square-foot learning studio that now bears his name. “That a man with such a gift for comedy, for touching people’s lives and for making us laugh by telling us the truth would pay tribute to us in this way is deeply meaningful to us,” Dr. Martin said.
Comedians Suliman McCullough, Kevin Nealon and Sarah Silverman also delivered heartfelt remarks framed by signature humor, and spoke about Shandling’s role as a leader, mentor and friend. Family member Michael Shandling spoke about his cousin’s compassion and caring philanthropy. A reception followed the dedication ceremony.
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