LOS ANGELES – “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, 62, who graduated University of Southern California as a film student in 1966, is paying back to his alma mater – $175 million.
This will be the largest gift in the school’s history, USC officials announced Tuesday.
The foundation is giving $75 million for the construction of a new 137,000-square foot, state-of-the-art home for the university’s acclaimed cinema school. The remaining $100 million is to be used to endow the school.
“I discovered my passion for film and making movies when I was a student at USC in the 1960s, and my experiences there shaped the rest of my career,” Lucas said in a statement. “I’m also an ardent advocate for education at all levels and encouraging young people to pursue their ambitions by learning. I’m very fortunate to be in a position to combine my two passions and to be able to help USC continue molding the futures of the moviemakers of tomorrow.”
Lucas’ gift was announced just hours after the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena announced the filmmaker would be grand marshal of next year’s Rose Parade.
His donation topped the previous school record of $120 million, made in 1993 by the late ambassador Walter Annenberg.
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