February 1, 2023

USC Games Celebrates Black History Month with Historic Announcement

USC Games is excited to announce the first-ever recipients of the Gerald A. Lawson Fund scholarship at the start of Black History Month. The two recipients, known as "Lawson Scholars," are receiving support from industry giants Take-Two Interactive and Microsoft’s Xbox Games Studios.

"It’s an exciting day at USC Games that we’ve waited a long time for,” said Jim Huntley, professor, head of marketing at USC Games, and the creator of the Gerald A. Lawson Fund for Black and Indigenous Students. “We are proud to support our students in creating a more inclusive industry that will continue to push the boundaries of what's possible in games while bringing attention to one of the Black founding fathers of gaming, Gerald A. Lawson, during such a culturally and historically significant time as Black History Month."

Microsoft’s Xbox Games Studios and Take-Two Interactive are joining forces to empower the next generation of game designers and computer scientists at USC. The Microsoft scholarship will provide support to one student enrolled in USC's Interactive Media & Games Division, while the Take-Two scholarship will help another student enrolled in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's CS Games Program. These scholarships are providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these students to achieve their dreams and make a lasting impact in the world of games.

Jerry Lawson oversaw the development of the Fairchild Channel F video game console, the first to use interchangeable cartridges.

The Gerald A. Lawson Fund provides support for students from underrepresented communities who wish to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in game design or computer science from USC's prestigious program. With financial support from game companies such as Take-Two Interactive, Microsoft, and Sony Interactive Entertainment, as well as other donors, USC Games’ vision is to expand the initiative and provide additional support to marginalized communities.

For more information and to provide support for future game designers and developers, visit http://games.usc.edu/lawsonfund. To stay up to date with USC Games and their programs, sign up for their mailing list at https://games.usc.edu/.