Filmmaker George Lucas and high-powered executive Mellody Hobson, who also happen to be married, just announced the single largest donation for student support in the history of USC’s film school.
According to USC News, the $10 million grant “will support the recruitment of talented USC School of Cinematic Arts students from communities that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry.” More specifically, black and Hispanic students will be given priority for George Lucas and Mellody Hobson scholarships at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. (The scholarships are named according to the gender of the recipients; there will be an equal number of each per year.)
In a statement to USC news, the Star Wars creator emphasized counteracting historic inequalities in the film industry: “Hispanic and African-American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry. 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 first scholars will enroll at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, of which Lucas is an alumnus, in fall 2016.