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Helen Gurley Brown gives Stanford, Columbia $30 million

January 30, 2012 | 12:22 pm


The intersection of media and technology just got better funded.

Today the Columbia Journalism School and the Stanford School of Engineering announced a joint $30 million gift from longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown to establish the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

The idea is to get the best media minds on the East Coast to start working with the best technology  minds on the West Coast and get innovating!

"David and I have long supported and encouraged bright young people to follow their passions and to create original content," said Helen Gurley Brown in a statement. "Great content needs usable technology....It's time for two great institutions on the East and West Coasts to build a bridge."

If you are thinking this bridge might be a bit arbitrary, it may help to know that Helen Gurley Brown's late husband graduated from Stanford University and the Columbia School of Journalism.

Each school will receive $12 million for "Institute activities"--enough to endow a professorship holder and to support graduate and post-graduate fellowships at both schools. Columbia will receive an additional $6 million for construction of a building that will feature a high-tech newsroom.

"New York City as the major center for the television, music, print media and advertising, is profoundly affected by rapidly evolving digital technology," said Stanford engineering professor Bernd Girod, who will be the institute's founding director, in a statement. "The Brown Institute will bring together creative innovators skilled in production and delivery of news and entertainment with the entrepreneurial researchers at Stanford working in multimedia technology."


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--Deborah Netburn

Photo: David Brown and Helen Gurley Brown in 1979. Credit: Los Angeles Times.