May 14, 2013 9:00pm PT by Shirley Halperin
Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre 'Academy' to Open at USC With $70 Million Donation
Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (ne Andre Young) have joined together to open the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. The longtime friends, collaborators and business partners -- Iovine is currently chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records; he and rapper-producer Dre also co-founded Beats Electronics -- are putting in $70 Million to create the Academy.
According to a release issued by the University, the aim of the school is to give USC students "a unique undergraduate experience" that will span such fields as marketing, business entrepreneurship, computer science and engineering, audio and visual design and the arts.
Said USC President C. L. Max Nikias in announcing the new program: “The vision and generosity of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic media. ... We are committed to encouraging our students to use their intellectual and creative resources to effect change in all segments of society. Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world.”
The curriculum -- focused on four areas: arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design and marketability; concept and business platforms; and creating a prototype -- will emphasize technology and include faculty from the USC Marshall School of Business, Roski School of Fine Arts, Viterbi School of Engineering and Thornton School of Music. A selected group of students will be offered an integrated, four‑year interdisciplinary course of study capped off in the final year with an experiential setting called the “Garage," which will challenge the students with a year-long project.
"The curriculum was created to take full advantage of a newly designed, revolutionary educational space that will offer students very powerful tools," said Erica Muhl, dean of the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, who will serve as inaugural director of the USC Iovine & Young Academy. "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's inaugural class will enroll 25 students in fall 2014. Iovine is scheduled to deliver USC's commencement address this Friday, May 17.