Besides my family, the two best things in my world are USC (Trojan Football, in particular) and Star Wars. Sounds totally nerdy, but it’s true. As luck would have it, both are closely related. And after last week, the ties are even tighter.
George Lucas, USC ’66, creator of the Star Wars films, announced that his LucasFilm Foundation is giving $175 million to USC. The huge gift, which tops Walter Annenberg’s 1993 donation of $120 million as the largest in school history, will be used to build and endow a new state-of-the-art home for USC’s famed School of Cinematic Arts.
What’s more, Lucas is a USC Football fan, having been a sideline guest at a few games over the years.
Not to be outdone, Steven Spielberg, perhaps one of the most famous non-USC alums with connections to the school, made some Trojan news of his own last week. At the request of the King of Jordan, Spielberg is leading a partnership between the School of Cinematic Arts and the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA) to create a new, world-class film school program that will serve every country in the Middle East.
Spielberg, a member of USC’s Board of Trustees, was rejected by USC’s cinema school three times in the 1960s before he settled on Long Beach State, which didn’t even have a film school at the time. Ironically, he was awarded an honorary degree from USC in 1994, before earning an actual bachelor’s degree from Long Beach in 2002.
May The Force be with you. Now, back to football …
east coast bias