Science pays! The cast of The Big Bang Theory have gained fame and untold fortunes working on the hit show, and now, they’re giving back.
UCLA announced on Thursday, May 28, that CBS, co-creator Chuck Lorre, and stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, and Melissa Rauch have all contributed to a scholarship fund that will provide financial aid to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Many producers and members of the crew also contributed, raising more than $4 million for the fund.
“We are grateful for The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment, whose contributors agree with us that economic standing should not hinder a deserving student’s shot at a degree from a university of UCLA’s caliber,” Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement.
“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 press release distributed by the university. “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 Big Bang Theory, which kicks off its ninth season this fall, stars Parsons as a theoretical physicist, Galecki as an experimental physicist, Helberg as an engineer, Nayyar as an astrophysicist, Rauch as a microbiologist, and Bialik as a neurobiologist. Cuoco-Sweeting plays an actress-turned-pharmaceutical sales rep.
Though Bialik first found fame as the star of ‘90s sitcom Blossom, she later attended UCLA and earned a doctorate in neuroscience before joining Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler.
The scholarship will be given to 20 students for the 2015-2016 school year. Recipients will be announced this fall on The Big Bang Theory set.