Los Angeles City College received a $10.1 million gift on Aug. 25 from The Herb Alpert Foundation, creating an endowment that transforms the music department and the lives of the students who study music at the school. The gift is the largest amount ever given to a community college in Southern California.
The gift provides all music majors at LACC with tuition-free attendance, additional private lessons and further financial aid to enable them to succeed in their community college experience.
“I love that LACC has helped so many low-income students who have financial challenges but have a strong commitment to education and to self-improvement,” Herb Alpert said.
Alpert’s gift will also help enhance the department’s ability to offer opportunities for non-music majors as well. Approximately 4,000 students take some type of music course at LACC every year.
“The Herb Alpert Foundation’s two core areas of funding are to the arts, and compassion and well-being, and this gift to LACC beautifully marries those two priorities,” said Rona Sebastian, president of the Herb Alpert Foundation. “It supports those music students dedicated to pursuing advancement in this artistic discipline, and it provides an often underserved, diverse student population with a fair, just and compassionate opportunity to afford the costs of a higher education.”
Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Los Angeles City College Foundation, said the vast majority of LACC students are from underserved communities and face “enormous financial challenges as they strive to attain their academic and career goals.”
“This generous gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation allows these talented students to focus on their studies while pursuing their individual pathways towards successful careers in the music industry,” Schwartz said.
LACC, one of the nine community colleges within the Los Angeles Community College District
(LACCD), provides the largest selection of performing arts classes and majors among the LACCD campuses. Forty percent of the music students within the district study at LACC. In 1946, LACC became the first college in the U.S. to offer a major in jazz.
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