Columbia Journalism School and Stanford School of Engineering Announce $30 Million Gift From David and Helen Gurley Brown
(Press Release) NEW YORK and PALO ALTO, Calif., January 30, 2012 - Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University's School of Engineering today announced a $30 million gift from longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor and author Helen Gurley Brown to establish the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation.
The Institute and the collaboration between the two schools is groundbreaking in that it is designed to encourage and support new endeavors with the potential to inform and entertain in transformative ways. It will recognize the increasingly important connection between journalism and technology, bringing the best from the East and West Coasts.
The Institute, the first of its kind, is inspired by the memory of Ms. Brown's late husband, David Brown, a graduate of both Stanford University and the Columbia School of Journalism. Brown, who along with partners Richard Zanuck and Steven Spielberg created such classic American films as Driving Miss Daisy, The Verdict and Jaws, was also a former journalist, publisher and, late in his career, a stage producer whose credits included the musicals Sweet Smell of Success and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Of the total gift, each school will receive $12 million for Institute activities. The gift to Columbia's Journalism School, the largest in its history, will endow a professorship whose holder will be the Institute's East Coast director. The gift to Stanford's Engineering School will similarly endow the position of the West Coast director. An additional $6 million will go to Columbia which will also pay for the construction of a highly visible signature space at the eastern end of the J-School's landmark building, featuring a state-of-the-art high-tech newsroom. The funding of the Institute will support graduate and postgraduate fellowships, both at Stanford and Columbia, and competitively awarded ÒMagic Grants, intended to seed the most innovative and promising ideas for future development conceived of by Brown Fellows.