Microsoft Bestows Gift to USC

Gift will establish the Microsoft Next Generation Initiative, which consists of an endowed professorship and support for the Game Innovation Lab and Interactive Entertainment program.

Microsoft has given a gift to USC's School of Cinematic Arts' Interactive Media Division to establish the Microsoft Next Generation Initiative, which consists of an endowed faculty position and financial support for the Game Innovation Lab and Interactive Entertainment program.

"With this very generous gift, Microsoft shines the spotlight on the future of gaming. I hope this initiative further helps to focus leaders in all disciplines of the entertainment industry on the substance and consequence of interactive media education," said Elizabeth Daley, dean of USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

"We are delighted to be working with the USC Interactive Media Division in a partnership that we believe will help develop and grow the new talent in our industry," said Phil Spencer, corporate vp at Microsoft Games Studios. "By working closely with an industry leading program, Microsoft hopes to play a central role in defining the current and next generation of interactive entertainment."

The Microsoft Endowed Professorship is expected to begin in the summer.

The IMD began as a set of classes in 1999 and was formally established in 2002. Initial funding from Electronic Arts allowed for the creation of an endowed chair in game design and the establishment of the Game Innovation Lab, now a state-of-the-art research space and think tank where new concepts in game design, play and usability are developed, prototyped and play-tested.

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