A first-of-its-kind graduate fellowship in the UCLA College of Letters and Science will transform the department of physics and astronomy by enabling it to attract some of the world's best students in physics, thanks to a $1.2 million gift from the Julian Schwinger Foundation for Physics Research.UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Seven alumni and six faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
"The Julian Schwinger Fellowship is a game-changer for the department," said Joseph Rudnick, dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences and senior dean of the College of Letters and Science. "This fellowship will allow the department to compete with the best programs in the world, recruit the finest minds in physics and lead in discoveries that could change the world."
The Schwinger Foundation expects that the comprehensive fellowship will enable students to focus on their research without undue financial pressure by providing, for a maximum of four years, full tuition and fees, along with an inflation-protected stipend of $42,000 a year. An additional $3,000 a year will be provided for professional and travel expenses.
Former UCLA physics professor Julian Schwinger shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Richard Feynman and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for their research on quantum electrodynamics. In 1971, he joined the faculty at UCLA, where he taught and carried out research until his death in 1994. At Schwinger's request, his wife, Clarice, and his colleague Seth Putterman, a UCLA professor of physics, collected the Schwinger assets into a charitable foundation.
"Knowledge creation is the key product of the university, and this fellowship will enable generations of young physicists to pursue their passions and make a difference," said Putterman on behalf of the foundation directors. "I can think of no better way to honor the monumental legacy left by Dr. Schwinger, who is considered one of the finest physics scholars of the 20th century."
The inaugural Julian Schwinger graduate fellowship, which could be the first of several fellowships established by the Schwinger Foundation at UCLA, will be awarded in March to an outstanding graduate student interested in pursuing research in the field of physics.
"This tremendous gift not only emphasizes the strength of our physics program here at UCLA but also highlights the philanthropic spirit of our faculty," Rudnick said. "Dr. Putterman and Dr. Schwinger are shining examples of the kind of investment our faculty are willing to make in our students and in the future of this institution."