Hip-hop star Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine are donating $70 million to USC for a new academy that they say will give students the tools they need to break into the rapidly changing music industry.
Scheduled to be announced by Dre (whose given name is Andre Young) and Iovine Wednesday in Santa Monica, the gift will establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. The academy will open with an inaugural class of 25 students in fall 2014.
“The vision and generosity of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic media,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias said in a statement. “Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world.”
Dre, Iovine and Nikias declined to be interviewed before the announcement, a USC spokesman said.
An unspecified portion of the $70 million donation will go toward construction of facilities that will house the academy. Students, who can earn an undergraduate degree from the academy, will use existing facilities while new ones are being built.
The four-year program will feature four core curriculum areas: arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design and marketability; concept and business platform; and creating a prototype. It aims to foster entrepreneurship that brings students’ entertainment, technology and business skills into play. Instruction will involve engineering, computer science, fine arts, graphic design, business and leadership training.
That training will come from faculty at USC’s Thornton School of Music, Roski School of Fine Arts, Marshall School of Business and Viterbi School of Engineering, as well as “industry icons and innovators as visiting faculty and guest speakers,” according to USC’s statement.
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