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Sep 12, 8:41 PM EDT

Judge Judy funds debate space to promote exchange of ideas

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Judy Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, is funding a space for public debate at the University of Southern California.

The forum, which was to be unveiled Tuesday night, will host the USC Annenberg Debate Series.

The university said the series will bring together people with different perspectives, including leaders and students.

Sheindlin, a retired New York judge, is host of the long-running TV court show "Judge Judy."

In a statement, she said the free exchange of ideas by well-meaning people must be honored on college campuses.

Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, said in a statement that schools have a responsibility to encourage civil dialogue.

The Sheindlin Forum is named for the former judge and her husband, Jerry. The donation amount wasn't disclosed.

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