“David Geffen’s visionary generosity ensures that artists of extraordinary potential from all socioeconomic backgrounds will be able to cultivate their talent at Yale,” Yale President Peter Salovey said.
Geffen is best known for founding Asylum Records, Geffen Records, Geffen Pictures and co-founding the film studio DreamWorks SKG with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
His relationship with Yale dates back to the 1978-79 academic year when he led a semester-long seminar on the music industry.
“Yale already provides some of the best professional training available to actors, writers, directors, designers and theater managers from diverse backgrounds,” Geffen said in a statement. “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.”
He added that he hopes the gift will inspire others to join him in making advanced arts and theater education accessible and affordable to all students.
Theater studies at Yale began in 1925 and graduates of its drama school include actors such as Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Angela Bassett and Paul Giamatti.
Salovey said Yale is also committed to pursuing additional fundraising for the school, with plans to build a state-of-the-art facility for theater education and production.