Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine Give USC $70 Million Gift For A New Program

Two musical powerhouses are giving the University of Southern California a pretty generous gift.

USC President C.L Max Nikias announced today that record producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre (aka Andre Young) will be giving the school $70 million to create a new undergraduate program called the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.

The academy's curriculum will focus on “arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design and marketability; concept and business platforms; and creating a prototype,” according to a USC statement. The program's mission will be to create “a new generation of inspired innovators."

The 2014 inaugural class will contain 25 students who have competitive academic records and demonstrated histories of creative thought.

While Iovine got his start as a recording engineer, and Dr. Dre got his start as a rapper, their careers have expanded far beyond that.

Iovine co-founded Interscope Records and is currently the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, while Dr. Dre founded the record label Aftermath Entertainment in 1996. Together they founded Beats Electronics in 2006, a successful audio products company, Rolling Stone magazine notes.

Iovine and Dr. Dre had the idea for the undergraduate program when they were hiring staff for Beats, according to The New York Times. In their search for employees, they noticed a shortage in qualified applicants for technology-oriented positions.

“It came out of us trying to find people to work for us,” Iovine told the outlet.

At a press conference today, Nikias described the donation as one of the biggest ever given from the entertainment world to academia. The gift is part of The Campaign for the University of Southern California, which is "a multi-year effort to advance USC's academic priorities and expand the university's positive impact on the community and world,” according to the school's website.



Large Financial Donations To Universities