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Mariska Hargitay Helps Start UCLA Scholarship With $100K Donation

”Law & Order: SVU“ star aids acting students in her alma mater

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hargitay has bestowed her alma mater with a $100,000 gift, which will go toward a new scholarship in her name.

Teri Schwartz, dean of UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), announced the gift Tuesday. She added that the endowment will go toward the new Mariska Hargitay Scholarship for Acting Students, which will be awarded to students based on need and merit, in both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson on NBC's long-running crime procedural, is an alumnus of UCLA"s acting program and a recipient of UCLA’s TFT 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award, Theater.

“After all I have received from TFT for my journey as an actor; I am so excited to give back," Hargitay said of the gift. "My education there not only gave me an invaluable foundation for my craft, but also lit the fire of enthusiasm, perseverance and pursuit of excellence that has fueled me ever since. I cheer for the students now receiving those gifts at TFT, and to play a part in their journey as artists is hugely gratifying.”