If ever there was a time for yelling “Bazinga!” (in a non-prank context, that is—thanks Big Bang fanatics), this would be it. In an historic move, many members of the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory in conjunction with the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation have pledged to endow select UCLA STEM scholars (students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) beginning with the class of 2015-2016. The inaugural group of financial aid recipients will be 20 strong, though an additional five students will be tacked on every year hence in perpetuity. “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,” series cocreator and executive producer Chuck 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 fund has been aptly named The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment—the first university scholarship to be created by and named for a television series—and has already raised upwards of $4 million dollars thanks to contributors including Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and the UCLA PhD-holding Mayim Bialik (who, if you weren’t aware, has her doctorate in neuroscience. #Lifegoals).
The larger perk of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment? A built-in army of science consultants for future seasons of the show.