Billionaire media mogul Sumner Redstone has donated $10 million to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, which will be naming one if its buildings after the Viacom and CBS Corp. owner in recognition of his gift, the school announced last week.
“The business of entertainment has been a lifelong passion for me, both professionally and personally,” Redstone said in a statement. “With this gift, I hope USC students will follow their passions and realize their creative aspirations.”
The building’s 2,600 square feet of production space includes two production stages and state-of-the-art facilities for film, television, and new media production students to learn directing, lighting, staging, and more. The facility, which will be renamed the Sumner M. Redstone Production Building, is part of USC’s Cinematic Arts Complex, comprised of seven main buildings that total 200,000 square feet and include buildings named after George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
“The capabilities of these production facilities, together with the outstanding SCA faculty, will give students the tools and opportunity to refine their skills and carry on the legacy of creative excellence that has always been at the core of media creation business,” Redstone added. “I could not be more pleased to join Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and so many other supporters of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which is educating the future leaders of our industry.”
Spielberg, Lucas, and USC President C. L. Max Nikias will join USC friends and alumni Feb. 5 for the building’s dedication ceremony, according to the school.
Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of USC’s SCA, praised Redstone for supporting and inspiring “generations of entertainment industry professionals” over the years. “His generous contribution to SCA and its students will go far and wide toward advancing the ambitions and goals of the next generation of media-makers,” she said. “We are very grateful for his continued support.”