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Supporting Students Through Endowed Giving

A group of four students walking together outdoors in the sunshine. One on the far right is speaking and the other three are listening to her and smiling.
Endowed giving is a powerful way to provide students with the support they need to pursue their passions and make the most of their time at UCLA.

UCLA is broadening its reach and expanding into new areas. As it grows, one of the main things that keeps it steady is the university’s endowment — a permanent source of funding that supports a wide range of projects and initiatives, including financial assistance for students.

While UCLA’s tuition rates remain competitive in comparison with peer institutions, the cost of living is at an all-time high. Vital support in the form of endowed giving ensures that generations of promising students are able to make the most of their Bruin experience without financial concerns getting in the way.

Working for a Sustainable Tomorrow

An endowed scholarship is making it possible for Thomas L. ’26, of Bakersfield to pursue his passion for the environment.

“Climate change has great personal importance for me,” he says. “Both sides of my family have been involved in farming. The field of environmental science will allow me to contribute positively toward finding a solution to climate problems in my hometown and around the world.”

Thomas knew finances would play a role as he chose a college. “I didn’t want to put myself into debt in the future, especially since I have the desire to pursue a graduate degree,” he says.

The deciding factor for Thomas was UCLA’s offer of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship. Funded by a cornerstone gift from The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, along with support from other donors, this endowed scholarship provides an opportunity for high-performing students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to graduate free of educational debt.

Once he completes his studies, Thomas hopes to work as an environmental scientist or conservation biologist. For now, though, UCLA is the ideal home for him. “I’m truly grateful for this scholarship and the future opportunities it may provide. It’s great to feel that I am exactly where I belong.”  

Lifting Her Voice

Los Angeles native Leela S. ’11, D.M.A. ’26 is a highly accomplished vocalist who has performed to great acclaim on some of the most prestigious opera stages across the nation and around the world.

As a singer and a voice teacher, she is fascinated not just by technique and artistry, but also by the physiological mechanisms that make singing possible. “To me, the art and science of vocal performance are not separate entities,” she says. “They are completely intertwined.”

Leela is looking more deeply into the science of singing — a field called vocology — as she works toward a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Her studies are supported by an endowed fund.

“To know I have funding makes a world of difference,” says Leela. “As an artist, I’ve become so used to hustling. The Bernice and Wendell Jeffrey Endowed Scholarship gives me the peace of mind to be able to focus my time and attention on the things I want to work on.”

UCLA’s excellence relies on its ability to include and serve the broadest possible range of people, talents and ideas. Fortunately, Thomas, Leela and many other UCLA students flourish in their chosen fields thanks to donor support in the form of endowed scholarships and fellowships.

To learn more about supporting students through endowed giving, contact

Brittany Schoof(310) 612-2085

A selfie shot of a student, smiling to camera, standing in front of an extensive, sunlit outdoor space planted with a range of plants, flowers and shrubs.

An endowed scholarship is enabling Thomas L. ’26 to thrive at UCLA as he pursues his studies in environmental science.

A dark-haired woman on stage singing with great emotion, her hands clasped against her chest.

Graduate student and opera singer Leela S. ’11, D.M.A. ’26 is able to investigate the science of vocal performance thanks to the support of an endowed scholarship.

More Stories: Arts & culture, The College, Students, Environment & climate, Herb Alpert School of Music, Students & campus, UCLA & community