Dr. Dre, Iovine Donate $70 Million To Fund New Music Academy And Find Next Facebook

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will donate $70 million Wednesday to the University of Southern California (USC) to fund a new music academy. For that price, the academy will be named the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. Andre Young is the name Dr. Dre’s parents gave him.

The 48-year-old hip-hop mogul is the business partner of 60-year-old music producer and entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine. The two co-founded Beats By Dr. Dre in 2006. Beats is privately held and doesn’t have to open their books to shareholders, but they have claimed that it makes $1 billion sales each year.

And Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are looking to encourage more young people to emulate their success with the $70 million donation.

“If the next start-up that becomes Facebook happens to be one of our kids, that’s what we are looking for,” Jimmy Iovine told The New York Times in an interview on the USC campus Monday.

You see, the generous gift won’t fund just any old music program. It will create a degree program that combines business development and marketing with a focus on music and design.

Dr. Dre has been credited with discovering big names like the erstwhile Snoop Dogg (who now calls himself Snoop Lion) and Eminem.

The Los Angeles Times published a very complete statement of the announcement of the four year degree program.

According to that proposal, seniors in the Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine funded program could have a very interesting, almost reality TV-like experience:

“During their fourth and final year, academy students will take up residence in a uniquely designed experiential setting, the ‘Garage.’ Grouped into self-directed teams, which may include non-academy students from across the university, these students will determine a project that can be developed into a prototype over the course of the year.”

I’m not sure if that’s a college degree program or the next Big Brother.

Either way it could be a great opportunity for the lucky students who will start in 2014. Here’s one fan’s take:

What do you think of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s $70 million donation?

[Dr. Dre photo by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com]