If you happen to hear some students at UCLA this fall shouting "Bazinga!" at the top of their lungs, chances are they just scored a very special scholarship courtesy of "The Big Bang Theory."
The megahit CBS television series, which focuses on a group of friends all involved in some way with the sciences, is launching an endowment courtesy of co-creator Chuck Lorre and more than 50 gifts from the cast, crew and producers. In total, more than $4 million has been raised to benefit 20 students seeking financial assistance this fall and five additional students going forward. In keeping with the series' theme, all scholarships awarded will go to students interested in degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"We have all been given a gift with ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ a show that’s not only based in the scientific community, but also enthusiastically supported by that same community. This is our opportunity to give back," Lorre said in a statement. "In that spirit, our Big Bang family has made a meaningful contribution, and together we’ll share in the support of these future scholars, scientists and leaders."
The initial students selected to receive this year's scholarships will be recognized on the set of season 9 of "The Big Bang Theory" this fall.
As UCLA proudly notes, the new scholarship isn't its only connection to the show. Actress Mayim Bialik, who plays neuroscientist Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on the series, is also a real neuroscientist, having graduated from UCLA with a doctorate in the field in 2007.
“I thought passion was reserved for literature and the arts,” she said in a 2013 interview. “I didn’t know you could feel that strongly about science until I fell in love with the neuron. It helps us understand the universe and the electrical properties of the mind and body.”
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