Rap star will.i.am will earn an honorary doctorates degree this May, as the first-ever commencement at Dr. Dre’s and Jimmy Iovine School. The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy announced the Black Eyed Peas founder will give the commencement ceremony May 11 Will.i.am was chosen not just for his talents in the music business, but also for his accomplishments as a tech entrepreneur.
The rapper also owns tech-based companies like i.am+ and ill.i Optics.
“Will.i.am personifies the spirit of cross-disciplinary innovation and creativity, which is the essence of the Academy,” IYA Dean Erica Muhl said in a press release.
Dr. Dre, real name Andre Young, and Iovine endowed the university with $70 million in 2013 to help launch their own arts institution.
Their academy began admitting students in 2014. Ironically, one of the first successful projects the school was a virtual reality startup called Prism, which was founded by undergraduates and landed an investment from will.i.am, born William Adams.
Will.i.am will follow other famous new Doctors, including Dr. Diddy (Howard University, 2014), Dr. John Legend (University of Pennsylvania, 2014) and Dr. LL Cool J (Northeastern University, 2014), Dr. Common (Winston-Salem State University, 2015) and of course, Dr. Kanye West (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2015).