Music industry icons Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (Andre Young), already known as forward-thinking entrepreneurs, are giving $70 million to USC to foster innovation among under graduates.
The duo’s gift will establish the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation for students whose interests span fields such as marketing, business, computer science, audio/visual design, and the arts. The program will prepare them to become a new generation of inspired visionaries.
The goal of the academy is to shape the future by nurturing the talents, passions, leadership and risk-taking of uniquely qualified students who challenge conventional views of art and industry. The academy will attract students who are motivated to explore and create new art forms, technologies and business models — and who will benefit from a stimulating environment that fosters exploration and discovery beyond traditional educational and disciplinary boundaries.
“Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias.
Utilizing the expertise of top faculty from the USC Schools of Business, Fine Arts, Engineering, and Music, but also going beyond, the academy will host industry innovators as visiting faculty and guest speakers. It will offer a highly select group of students an integrated, four‑year course of study with team-taught interdisciplinary courses to be developed and adapted specifically for the program.
During their fourth and final year, academy students will take up residence in an experiential setting called the “Garage.” Grouped into self-directed teams, which may include non-academy students from across the university, these students will determine a project that can be developed into a prototype over the course of the year. Venture capitalists and other real-world experts will be tapped to give students advice and direction.