Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Break Ground on Permanent Home for Their USC Academy
Erica Muhl, the founding executive director of the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy at the University of Southern California, is joined by Young, Iovine and USC president Max C. L. Nikias, at the groundbreaking of the academy's new permanent home on the university's Los Angeles campus.
Throughout their remarkable careers, Jimmy Iovine and Andre "Dr. Dre" Young have worn many hats -- as hit-making record producers, entrepreneurs with Beats By Dre, digital music pioneers with Apple -- and on Oct. 12 the pair showed off how they look in hard hats.
On the campus of the University of Southern California, Iovine and Dre took part in the groundbreaking for a new permanent home for the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, the program they endowed with a $70 million gift to USC in 2013. They were joined in turning up soil with chrome shovels by Erica Muhl, the founding executive director of the academy and Max C.L. Nikias, president of USC.
In its first four years, the Iovine and Young Academy has admitted a selective group of 114 undergraduate students, who will receive a bachelor of science degree in arts, technology and the business of innovation—a mix of disciplines that Iovine has called essential to industries of the future. In March, the academy announced a masters program, Design@USC, mixing online and on campus programs.
While the Iovine and Young Academy will not graduate its first class of students until May 2018, the program already has yielded its first startup, Mira, backed by venture capital. A $99 augmented reality headset dubbed Prism, has been introduced by the company, run by academy seniors Ben Taft, Matt Stern and Montana Reed. Salesforce chairman/CEO Marc Benioff and musician Will.i.amare among the investors in Mira.
Although Mira's young entrepreneurs have taken office space in downtown Los Angeles, they will have an ongoing home on the USC campus after graduation. Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Hall will offer a lab for alumni, assuring the academy’s new building will be an ongoing tech incubator.
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