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George Lucas makes major endowment to USC for film students of color



In news about people we like, Star Wars creator George Lucas made the largest single donation for student support in USC’s history. According to the University of Southern California, the George Lucas Family Foundation has donated a whopping $10 million to the private institution for Black and Latino students attending their cinematic arts school.

According to USC News, Lucas’ support will aid in the recruitment of talented USC School of Cinematic Arts students from communities that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry, with Black or Hispanic students at the undergraduate and graduate levels receiving priority consideration. Student support will be split equally between males and females, who will be known as George Lucas Scholars (boys) or Mellody Hobson Scholars (girls). The first recipients will be awarded in the fall of 2016.

“George Lucas and Mellody Hobson are inspiring leaders in their fields, and tremendous friends to the USC community,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “This gift will nurture the next generation of artists, supporting scholarships that enhance access in the cinematic arts, while bringing new and diverse voices and stories into our lives.”

“Hispanic and African American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” said George Lucas, a USC alum. “It is Mellody’s and my privilege to provide this assistance to qualified students who want to contribute their unique experience and talent to telling their stories.”

This isn’t Lucas’s first major gift, in 2006, he donated $175 million to USC’s film school, of which $75 million was used to rebuild it. Lucas’ foundation also supports the Campaign for the University of Southern California’s multiyear effort, which seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance USC’s academic priorities and expand its positive impact on the community and world. Four years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $4.5 billion.