Dr. Dre ruffled some feathers recently when he joined forces with Jimmy Iovine in donating $70 million to the University of Southern California to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.
Some feel that Dr. Dre’s portion, $35 million, would be better used at a Historically Black College or University.
Walter M. Kimbrough, the president of Dillard University, expressed his disappointment in Dre’s decision via an op-ed piece published in the LA Times. “…What if Dre had given $35 million—his half of the USC gift and about 10% of his wealth, according to a Forbes estimate—to an institution that enrolls the very people who supported his career from the beginning? An institution where the majority of students are low income? A place where $35 million would represent a truly transformational gift?… This gift is gravy for USC; for a Black college, it would transform not just individuals but whole institutions and communities.”
Although Kimbrough celebrates Dre’s donation to education and likens the gift to Bill and Camille Cosby’s $20 million gift to Spelman College in 1988, he argues that USC’s student population doesn’t quite need the funds like many Black colleges. “And given USC’s $45,602 tuition next year, I’m confident Dre could have sponsored multiple full-ride scholarships to private Black colleges for the cost of one at USC,” he argues.
Kimbrough hopes the program will recruit diverse students “and not become some enclave for the already privileged student body there.”
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