The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy announced to its students that musician William Adams, known by his stage name will.i.am, will be the speaker of the school’s first-ever commencement ceremony May 11.
“Will.i.am personifies the spirit of cross-disciplinary innovation and creativity, which is the essence of the Academy,” IYA Dean Erica Muhl said in an email media release.
Adams is known for being a founding member of the hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas. Adams immersed himself into technology as an entrepreneur for companies ranging from consumer electronics to fashion accessories, according to the IYA email.
Adams’ technology company i.am+ uses artificial intelligence and smarter consumer products and sells wireless earbuds. He has also helped found ill.i Optics, which focuses on eyewear with a contemporary aesthetic.
Along with being a musician, Adams has also partnered with several companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Amuse and BEATS. In 2009, he founded the i.am.angel Foundation, which provides scholarships to college students.
“Our inaugural graduates are trailblazers who, through courage and audacity, breathed life into this revolutionary new program,” Muhl wrote.