November 14, 2014

The Dhanam Foundation Makes Historic Gift

The Dhanam Foundation, the education-focused family foundation of technology entrepreneur Ram Shriram and his wife Vijay Shriram, has donated $1.5 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to create need-based scholarships for its graduate students.

"We are excited to partner with SCA in enabling education for the next generation of talented writers, directors, and producers," said Ram and Vijay Shriram.

The gift creates The Shriram Family Graduate Student Support Fund which will provide financial assistance for cost of attendance to MFA and PhD candidates with significant need. Awarded students will be known as  Shriram Fellows.

The Shriram support fund will be used to encourage talented students who might otherwise not be able to afford an SCA education. While an education in the cinematic arts is extremely rewarding, it can also be expensive. Cost is by far the biggest burden current cinematic arts students face, and can be a deterrent for students interested in entering the field.

Ram Shriram is a career entrepreneur. His company, Junglee, was acquired by Amazon in 1998. After leaving Amazon, he became one of the founding board members and early investors in Google. Since then, the Shrirams have become global community leaders and philanthropists advancing educational opportunities worldwide.

Ram Shriram has worked to improve conditions for marginalized youth in India. Vijay Shriram’s serves on the advisory council at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Now, with this significant contribution to the School of Cinematic Arts, they continue their work to facilitate educational opportunities.

“Our goal is to provide the best education in the cinematic arts to any deserving student who has the potential to make transformative contributions to the field,” said SCA Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. “We are so grateful to Ram and Vijay Shriram for their inspiring support of the School and our students.”