By Mesfin Fekadu
Jay-Z's Roc Nation entertainment company is partnering with Brooklyn's Long Island University to launch the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment.
The new school will begin enrolling students for the fall 2021 semester, and 25% of the incoming freshmen class will receive Roc Nation Hope Scholarships. Hope Scholars will graduate without any debt.
Jay-Z, a 22-time Grammy winner and entertainment mogul, was born and raised in Brooklyn. He launched Roc Nation in 2008 and the company has worked with some of the top players in music, including Rihanna, Alicia Keys, DJ Khaled, J. Cole, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Uzi Vert and more. The company also partnered with the NFL and co-produced this year's Emmy-nominated halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Roc Nation Sports was founded in 2013 and has worked with many athletes.
Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez called the new partnership with LIU "a true investment in our community and young people in Brooklyn, in New York City, and beyond."
"We're excited that The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will provide unique insight, knowledge, and experiences for students and introduce the world to the next generation of unmatched talent," Perez continued in her statement Tuesday.
The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will offer undergraduate degrees in music, music technology, entrepreneurship and production, and sports management. The school will begin accepting applications this fall for the fall 2021 semester and Roc Nation Hope Scholarship recipients will be selected from a group of academically competitive, need-based first-time freshmen from New York.
"Our proximity in and around New York City's epicenter of music and sports clearly positions us to offer unparalleled experiential learning and access to professional opportunities that will launch students to success," LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline said in a statement. "We look forward to joining with Roc Nation to offer an unprecedented educational resource that opens up the entertainment and sports world to a new and eager generation."
In addition to learning from professors, students will also engage with guest artists and lecturers and will gain hands-on experience through internships.
The school will also offer resources to high school students and those younger: Starting in spring 2021, the school will launch summer residential camps for high schoolers and Saturday programs for students ages 10-18 that focus on music and sports management. Those programs will begin in spring 2021 and scholarships will be available for need-based students.