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

May 16, 2013  |  

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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  • Masterpieced

    “I wonder if Dr. Dre knows that not only does USC admit very few black
    students, but the ones who are there are subject to serious racism and
    racial profiling. During a recent campus party, the LAPD sent over 70 police officers
    in riot gear with a helicopter to break up the party after noise
    complaints. All the while, the white kids were partying up in their
    fraternity houses without so much as a peep from the police.

    Additionally, for Dr. Dre, his $35 million dollar donation (half of
    the $70 million he is sharing with Iovin) is merely a drop in the bucket
    for a school like USC that is sitting on an amount of money that no
    HBCU will have for at least another 100 years. USC shed no tears when
    Dr. Dre’s baby brother was a victim of the violence that has poisoned
    the black community. They did nothing when his son died from an
    overdose on the drugs that were dropped into black communities in the
    1980s. HBCUs have scholars working to solve these problems, and
    thousands of students who will graduate to fight for black America. USC does NOT.
    Other than a token scholar here or there, USC’s faculty are working to
    solve problems for white people, not black ones. That’s just a fact.

    Dr. Kimbrough goes even further to explain why USC was a questionable
    donation target for someone who grew up as a struggling black kid in
    South Central Los Angeles.”