The University of Southern California has announced a $70 million gift from music industry icons Jimmy Iovine and Andre "Dr. Dre" Young to establish a new academy that prepares the next generation of industry innovators.
Awarded as part of the $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California, the gift will support the creation of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, which will offer a highly select group of twenty-five students a four-year course of study in engineering and computer science, fine arts and graphic design, business, and leadership models. To that end, the academy will focus on four core curriculum areas: arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design, and marketability; concept and business platforms; and prototype creation.
Scheduled to begin offering classes in 2014, the academy will host industry icons and innovators as visiting faculty and will offer students one-on-one faculty mentoring and internship opportunities. During their final year of study, students will take up residence in an experiential setting called the Garage, where they will work in self-directed teams that may include students from outside the academy, on a project that can be developed into a commercial prototype over the course of the year.
"Academy students will have the freedom to move easily from classroom to lab, from studio to workshop, individually or in groups, and blow past any academic or structural barriers to spontaneous creativity," said USC Roski dean Erica Muhl, who will serve as the academy's inaugural director. "The academy's core education will create a common, multilingual literacy and fluency across essential disciplines. This 'big picture' knowledge and skill will equip graduates with a leadership perspective that is unparalleled in an undergraduate degree, and that will be applicable to virtually any industry."