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George Lucas Plans Major Donation to Education From Film Co. Sale

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From guest blogger Katie Ash.

Following this week's announcement that Lucasfilm Ltd., the company founded by filmmaker George Lucas, will be sold to the Walt Disney Company for $4.05 billion, Lucasfilm has released a statement that expresses Lucas' intention to donate the majority of the proceeds of that deal to philanthropic efforts, with a primary emphasis on education.

"For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company," said Lucas in the statement. "As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy."

The details of that intention, such as what kinds of educational endeavors it would fund or how much of the money would go into those efforts, have not yet been announced, but the move falls in line with previous statements and actions from the creator of the "Star Wars" movies. Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation in 1991 to document and advocate for research-based educational strategies to improve K-12 education. The content produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation is released through Edutopia.

Lucas also reaffirmed his commitment to improving K-12 education in 2010 by participating in The Giving Pledge, which encourages wealthy Americans to pledge the majority of their wealth to philanthropic efforts. Lucas' pledge focused primarily on promoting innovative educational approaches in the K-12 system.

"As long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages," he wrote in the pledge. "[The goal of Edutopia and the George Lucas Educational Foundation] has been to showcase bold successes and inspire others to further increase the appetite for education. Our hope is that administrators, teachers, and parents will see the power of these collective efforts and join the fight for wider reforms."

It is unclear whether the proceeds of the Lucasfilm sale will go into Lucas' already established philanthropic efforts or if a new foundation will be created, but we will certainly be following the details of this philanthropic force as it moves forward.

Stay tuned.

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