George Lucas donates $10 million for SCA diversity
Filmmaker George Lucas has donated another $10 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the University announced Monday. The gift will fund The George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity, which was established in 2015 to provide financial assistance to African American and Hispanic students.
The present donation follows an initial $10 million donation by the George Lucas Family Foundation in 2015.
Vice Dean of Academic Affairs Michael Renov said Lucas’ donation will benefit the film school years to come.
“We are grateful that Mellody Hobson and George Lucas continue to provide visionary leadership on issues of diversity in our field,” Renov told USC News. “This endowed fund allows us to recruit storytellers whose voices are underrepresented in cinematic media and whose inclusion benefits all of us.”
In 2015, President C. L. Max Nikias acknowledged Lucas’ gift, citing Lucas as a friend to the USC community.
“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,” Nikias told USC News.
Jonathan Curtiss, a graduate student majoring in writing for screen and television at the School of Cinematic Arts, was among the first George Lucas scholars who benefited from the fund.
“The George Lucas Scholarship really opened the door for me because I wouldn’t have been able to attend USC,” Curtiss told USC News. “Without it, my acceptance letter would have just been decoration in my room. Filmmaking is what I was created to do and this scholarship means I have fellowship, opportunity and the ability to inspire younger filmmakers in my community to dream without limits.”
The School of Cinematic Arts has also recently been supported by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Endowed International Student Support Fund that supports students with financial need studying at the School of Cinematic Arts on student visas.