George Lucas Gives Another $10 Million to USC Film School for Student Diversity

Lucas’ foundation doubles investment in diversity initiative

Last Updated: March 27, 2017 @ 1:56 PM

The George Lucas Family Foundation has given a second $10 million endowment to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to support student diversity initiatives, the school’s dean Elizabeth M. Daley announced Monday.

The new gift raises Lucas’ support for the initiative, which was launched last fall, to $20 million.

The fund provides an endowment for students from underrepresented communities who qualify for financial support. African American and Hispanic students in both undergraduate and graduate programs receive priority consideration for support and are known as George Lucas Scholars or Mellody Hobson Scholars.

“We are grateful that Mellody Hobson and George Lucas continue to provide visionary leadership on issues of diversity in our field,” Michael Renov, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs, said in a statement. “This endowed fund allows us to recruit storytellers whose voices are underrepresented in cinematic media, and whose inclusion benefits all of us.”

Jonathan Curtiss, SCA production student and one of the first George Lucas Scholars, added: “The George Lucas Scholarship really opened the door for me because I wouldn’t have been able to attend USC without it and 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.”

More than two-thirds of USC students receiving some kind of financial assistance.