Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am will deliver the commencement speech for the first graduating class of USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation. The ceremony is scheduled for May 11.
Currently appearing as a coach on the U.K. version of “The Voice,” Will.I.Am is also involved in various business in the sectors of technology, consumer electronics and fashion. Among them: Amuse, “the world’s first mobile record company,” Atom Bank, the UK’s mobile-based banking institution, The Coca-Cola Co., Intel and BEATS Electronics, where he was a founding equity shareholder. Will’s philanthropic endeavors include the i.am angel Foundation, which he started in 2009, and the organization TRANS4M, dedicated to “education, inspiration and opportunity.”
Said Erica Muhl, dean and founding executive director of the USC program: “will.i.am personifies the spirit of cross-disciplinary innovation and creativity, which is the essence of the academy. His drive to transform our world through his art, his support of groundbreaking technologies and his philanthropic pursuits make him qualified to guide our first graduating class as they begin their own, individual, creative journeys.”
The USC Iovine and Young Academy offers an integrated Bachelor of Science in arts, technology and the business of innovation. The school was founded in 2013 with a $70 million visionary gift from entrepreneurs Iovine and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young.