Entrepreneurs and music industry icons Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (Andre Young), already known as forward-thinking visionaries in music and business, are giving $70 million to the University of Southern California to create a unique undergraduate experience. The duo’s gift will establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, an exceptional environment for those rare undergraduate students whose interests span fields such as marketing, business entrepreneurship, computer science and engineering, audio and visual design and the arts.
This program will prepare them to become a new generation of inspired innovators. 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.
The Iovine and Young 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. “Flexibility is a hallmark of USC, and the academy’s curriculum is incredibly adaptive,” said Erica Muhl, dean of the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, who will serve as inaugural director of the USC Iovine & Young Academy. “The curriculum was created to take full advantage of a newly designed, revolutionary educational space that will offer students very powerful tools. 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.” 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. Students who complete a course of study in the academy will graduate with a degree that recognizes each individual’s ability to truly engage and to succeed in an educational experience that is constantly asking the question, “Why not?”