The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering is pleased to announce that Chuck Lorre, co-creator and executive producer of numerous blockbuster television hits, including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Young Sheldon” and the Golden Globe-winning “The Kominsky Method,” will address this year’s graduating class at commencement on June 15 at Pauley Pavilion.
In addition to his many career accomplishments, in 2015, Lorre established “The Big Bang Theory” (TBBT) Scholarship Endowment at UCLA to support undergraduate students pursuing higher education in STEM fields. With an initial donation from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, combined with gifts from more than 80 individuals associated with the series, including the show’s stars, executive producers, writers, crew and industry partners, the TBBT Scholarship has raised more than $5.5 million for UCLA students in financial need studying STEM fields. Of this year’s graduating TBBT cohort of 15, eight are UCLA Samueli students who are receiving degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering, bioengineering, computer science and electrical engineering.
The foundation has also established “The Big Bang Theory” Graduate School Fund to award scholarships of up to $20,000 per year to TBBT/UCLA scholars who plan to attend graduate school within the University of California system. Scholars who will pursue graduate studies outside the UC system will be eligible for a one-time grant of $20,000.
Lorre was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2012. Additionally, he was named an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science for his work on “The Big Bang Theory” and received the David Angell Humanitarian Award on behalf of the American Screenwriters Association for his charitable contributions to the Venice (Calif.) Family Clinic. In 2009, Lorre received the National Association of Television Program Executives’ Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, was named Television Showman of the Year at the 46th Annual ICG Publicists Awards Ceremony, and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A native of Long Island, N.Y., Lorre got his start as a guitarist/singer, touring the country and writing pop songs, including Debbie Harry’s Top 40 hit “French Kissin’ in the USA.” Lorre soon turned his attention to television, writing and producing the themes and scores for several animated series, including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Lorre’s big break came in 1991, when he became a supervising producer, and later a co-executive producer, on the groundbreaking comedy “Roseanne.”
For his philanthropic work, Lorre has been honored with the Silver Circle Humanitarian Award by the Venice Family Clinic; the Golden Heart Award by the Midnight Mission; and with Variety’s Creative Leadership Award.