NEW HAVEN, Conn — Students at the Yale School of Drama will no longer have to pay tuition after a gift from entertainment mogul David Geffen.
The school announced Wednesday that, "in perpetuity, full-time students in degree and certificate programs will receive 100% tuition remission, beginning with the 2021-22 academic year. These programs are now, and always will be, 'tuition free.'"
The school will now be called the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale.
The school posted on their website, "Our vision, made possible by Mr. Geffen’s generosity, is of world class graduate theater training that visibly eliminates financial barriers for all prospective students. We aim to reduce educational debt so that aspiring artists and managers may enter the field with both passion and prudence."
Geffen started in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. In the late 1960s he managed acts in the Southern California music scene such as Laura Nyro, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Joni Mitchell. He launched Asylum Records in 1971 by signing Jackson Browne, the Eagles, and Linda Ronstadt. In the following years he founded Geffen Records and produced a number of films and Broadway shows. He, along with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, founded Dreamworks SKG.
The gift to Yale is the largest gift on record in the history of American theater according to the university.
The David Geffen School of Drama at Yale teaches a variety of tracks for the theater, including acting, stagecraft, writing, and management. Alumni include Angela Bassett, Paul Giamatti, David Alan Grier, Katherine Hahn, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and many others.
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