Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine Donate $70M to USC To Create Arts & Tech Academy

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May 16, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre announcing their massive gift to USC. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre announcing their massive gift to USC. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Hip-hop star Dr. Dre topped the list of Forbes’ Cash Kings as the richest hip hop artist for the year 2012. But now Dre is giving some of his $350 million fortune to the University of Southern California. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, founder of  Interscope Records, are donating $70 million to USC for a new academy that they say will give students the tools they need to break into the rapidly changing music industry, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The gift will be used to create the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. It is set to with a class of 25 students in fall 2014. Students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree from the academy after completing the four-year program, which will feature four core curriculum areas: arts and entrepreneurship; technology, design and marketability; concept and business platform; and creating a prototype. According to the newspaper, the Academy aims to foster entrepreneurship that brings students’ entertainment, technology and business skills into play. Instruction will involve engineering, computer science, fine arts, graphic design, business and leadership training.

“The vision and generosity of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic media,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias said in a statement.

Also, an unspecified portion of the $70 million donation will go toward construction of future facilities to house the academy.

Iovine and Dre co-created the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones that now accounts for more than half the consumer market for high-end headphones, reports The Times. The company’s annual sales in 2011 were $500 million.

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