Legendary record producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper/producer/entrepreneur Dr. Dre have joined together to donate an astonishing $70 million to the University of Southern California to create a new kind of academy. The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation will be a four-year undergraduate program that will focus on blending art, music, business, and entrepreneurship. The first class of 25 students is being selected for 2014, and part of the donation is set aside for full scholarships to make sure that affordability is not an issue should they find the right students.
Despite the fact that neither Iovine nor Dre ever went to college, both know that what they are doing will be one of the most important legacies they will leave behind, after a lifetime of other huge contributions to music. "I feel like this is the biggest, most exciting and probably the most important thing that I’ve done in my career," Dr. Dre told The New York Times.
Having previously collaborated on Beats headphones, Iovine and Dre have been working together on the Beats brand, expanding into earbuds, car stereos, laptops, and other products. The LA Times reports that Beats had $500 million in annual sales in 2011. They recently saw a need for the new school upon realizing they were having a hard time finding people they felt were qualified to work for Beats.
Though $70 million is a small endowment in comparison to the money that many top schools receive, the two hope that the program they are creating will produce the next generation of artist-entrepreneurs and leaders in their fields. Iovine told the New York Times, “We have no idea where this is going." But they have high hopes, and they've definitely proven that they can get whatever they want done.