Judge Judy gives students gift of debate with the Sheindlin Forum at USC

Judge Judy Sheindlin has made her fortune dealing in disagreements and now she is helping to foster debate.

TV’s most popular judge has made a gift to University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that according to the university “will provide a forum space dedicated to public debate and advancing intellectually rigorous, civil and healthy discourse.”

The Sheindlin Forum, unveiled on Tuesday, is named for the reality star and her husband, former judge Jerry Sheindlin.

“Outfitted with new technology and infrastructure for debate events, it will host the USC Annenberg Debate Series, new public programming designed to bring divergent viewpoints together,” the school reported on its news site. “The series will feature debates among high-profile thought leaders, students and local high school students.”

USC Annenberg Dean Willow Bay hailed the gift in a statement.

“We want USC Annenberg to lead these conversations and be a center of well-informed and substantial dialogue and debate,” Bay said. “This is at the heart of the intellectual and academic experience we provide, and the Sheindlins’ generous gift will allow us to expand our debate programs not only at USC, but into our wider community.”

Sheindlin’s is a former New York Family Court judge who served for 25 years on the bench. Her popular court show, “Judge Judy,” debuted on Sept. 16, 1996.

Variety reported last month that CBS paid “in the high eight figures” to acquire the rights to the long-running syndicated show.

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