Microsoft Contributes to USC Games’ Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 9, 2021) – Today, USC Games, ranked the #1 North American games program by Princeton Review eleven years running, announced that Microsoft is the latest financial backer for the Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund for Black and Indigenous Students, with the goal of increasing those groups’ representation in games and tech industries.

“We’re proud to work with USC Games to empower underrepresented communities to succeed in games,” said Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft. “We’re excited to see what the future generation of game creators will make.”

The Fund’s namesake, Gerald A. “Jerry” Lawson, was responsible for the use of interchangeable ROM cartridges in-game consoles while working on a system called the “Fairchild Channel-F.” That 1970s innovation sparked today’s multi-billion-dollar games industry. One of the few Black engineers in the gaming industry during its inception, Mr. Lawson was also a member of the legendary “Homebrew Computer Club” whose members also included Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. In 2018, Microsoft honored Mr. Lawson at that years’ Game Developer’s Conference.

More recently, in February 2021, Xbox celebrated Black voices during Black History Month and has been standing with the Xbox player community in support of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Black Lives Matter Support Fund, and Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).

“We are determined that USC Games will be a place where diversity is valued and everyone is invited t