Entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen joined UCLA leaders, medical students and fellow supporters of UCLA Health Sciences on May 11 to dedicate Geffen Hall, the new home of medical education at UCLA (see "Home Improvement," page 18). During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Geffen shared the platform with UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block; 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.
The medical school took Geffen's name following a $200-million gift in 2002. Ten years later, through another transformative $100-million gift, he created the merit-based David Geffen Medical Scholarships, which cover the entire cost of a medical education for hundreds of students. Nine of the first recipients of The David Geffen Medical Scholarships are among the students who graduated in June 2017.
"I am pleased to continue my support of medical education and research at UCLA," Geffen said. "It's a world-class institution. This new facility continues the university's tradition of excellence and will attract some of the country's brightest and most promising faculty and students. I am proud to have played a part in helping the university move this remarkable building from a vision to a reality."
Dr. Martin talked about the effect of debt-free medical education provided by Geffen's scholarship program. "This not only propels us to attract the best and brightest, but it also allows these students to carve unique, impactful career paths and to make a difference in the world," she said.
"David Geffen understands the power and potential of having a world-class research university in an extraordinary city," Chancellor Block said. "His unparalleled support has provided the resources to ensure that our campus remains among the best for many years to come."
The new facility was named in recognition of the extraordinary generosity and impact of Geffen's gifts to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, widely regarded to be among the nation's leading medical schools. According to Dr. Clarence H. Braddock III, vice dean for education and Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Endowed Chair in Medical Education, Geffen Hall is, "emblematic of a new, more collaborative era of healthcare, which is transforming the ways we prepare medical students for success in their future careers."
Dr. Mazziotta noted that Geffen's career in entertainment relies in part on identifying and investing in talent and said, "We are grateful that he is now investing in our talented medical students."
Dr. Caroline Gross (MD '17), a graduating scholarship recipient selected to represent medical students during the ceremony, presented Geffen with a miniature replica of a photo and inscription on a Geffen Hall pillar reflecting the scope of his philanthropy. "Through his diverse and far-reaching philanthropy," the inscription reads in part, "he has created countless opportunities for others to succeed and has contributed to community and culture in myriad ways-supporting education, arts, discovery, and improved health."
Geffen Hall construction was funded through a combination of philanthropic gifts and UCLA Health reserves.
For more information, contact Laura Pescatore at: (310) 825-1288