The George Lucas Family Foundation has given an endowment of $10 million to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, to help boost diversity and provide financial support for Hispanic and African American students.
“Hispanic and African American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” Lucas said in a statement on the university’s website. “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.”
The endowment establishes the George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity, as well as “the largest single donation for student support in the Cinema School’s history.” The first honor for these recipients, who will be branded as George Lucas Scholars or Mellody Hobson Scholars, 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,” added 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.”