George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson. (John Shearer/Invision/AP)
George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, has teamed up with his wife, businesswoman Mellody Hobson to donate $10 million dollars to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, according to L.A Biz.
The initiative is geared at providing opportunities in the media industry to communities who are often underrepresented. According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, the George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund primarily is aimed at giving scholarships to Hispanic and African-American students.
The endowment from the George Lucas Family Foundation is the largest single donation aimed at student support in USC’s history, according to L.A Biz.
“Hispanic and African American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” Lucas said in a statement on USC’s website. “It is Mellody’s and my privilege to provide this assistance to qualified students who want to contribute their unique experience and talent to telling their stories.”
The money will be divided evenly between male and female students and the recipients of the award will be considered as George Lucas or Mellody Hobson scholars. Both undergraduate and graduate students will be eligible for the awards starting in the fall of 2016.
“We are so grateful to George and Mellody for their continued support of the School of Cinematic Arts, and in particular for this amazing gift, and their recognition of the need to encourage the Hispanic and African American storytellers of tomorrow,” said USC School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth M. Daley in a statement.
Lucas graduated from USC in 1966 and donated $175 million in 2006 to help rebuild the film school, according to CBS News.
According to USC’s website, 5 percent of the student body is Black and 13 percent is Hispanic.