NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Present and future students at Yale University’s drama school will no longer need to pay tuition, thanks to a $150 million donation.
Yale University announced Wednesday morning a multi-million dollar donation, noting it as the largest on record in the history of American theater and making Yale’s drama school the only institution to become tuition-free.
In addition to permanent free-tuition, University President Salovey stated that the school will pursue significant investments in their facilities.
Tuition costs will be eliminated for students pursuing a degree or certificate enrolled for the fall semester, as well as returning students, according to Yale officials.
In recognition of Geffen’s contribution, the Yale School of Drama will be renamed the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University.
David Geffen is an entertainment executive and philanthropist in the areas of health, education, arts and culture, among other causes. Geffen is the founder of multiple studios, as well as the co-founder of DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. In 2010, Geffen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and received the President’s Merit Award at the 2011 Grammys for his contributions. Geffen also taught courses at Yale in the late 1970s.
“It’s an honor to partner with Yale University to create the first tuition-free drama school of its kind in the nation,” said Geffen. “Yale is well known for having one of the most respected drama programs in the country. So, when they approached me with this opportunity, I knew Yale was the right place to begin to change the way we think about funding arts education. Yale already provides some of the best professional training available to actors, writers, directors, designers, and theater managers from diverse backgrounds. Removing the tuition barrier will allow an even greater diversity of talented people to develop and hone their skills in front of, on, and behind Yale’s stages. I hope this gift will inspire others to support similar efforts to increase accessibility and affordability for arts education at colleges and universities across the country.”
The school’s notable alumni include Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Angela Bassett, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, among other graduates in the arts and entertainment industries.