USC celebrates $70 million donation from rapper Dr. Dre

University of Southern California seeking to `shape the future' of art and industry with new academy

LOS ANGELES - A $70 million donation from the rapper Dr. Dre and music industry executive Jimmy Iovine will allow USC to create what it described as an "entirely new model for training and inspiring a new generation of innovators," the university announced today.

The goal of the USC Jimmy Lovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation "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," according to USC.

The academy will enroll its first class of 25 students in fall 2014.

Applicants will be accepted based on a rigorous review process encompassing demonstrated academic excellence as well as proven ability for original thought.

The academy is seeking students whose interests span fields such as marketing, business entrepreneurship, computer science and engineering, audio and visual design and the arts.  

The academy will focus on four core curriculum areas -- arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design and marketability; concept and business platforms; and creating a prototype.

The four-year academic program will include one-on-one faculty mentoring, opportunities to interact with luminaries from the arts and entertainment industry serving as guest speakers and lecturers, and a broad array of internship opportunities for students.

During their fourth and final year, academy students will take up residence in an experiential setting, dubbed 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.

Appropriate faculty members, other artists and business leaders will serve as mentors to each group, and venture capitalists and other real-world experts will be introduced to give students advice and direction.

"Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world," USC President C. L. Max Nikias said.

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