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Xbox veterans create USC fund to support student gaming innovation

Industry veterans look to improve student initiative in interactive media

Former Microsoft employees and University of Southern California (USC) alumni Kavin Bachus and Chanel Summers have donated funds to the USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) to create The Bachus-Summers Fund for Innovation in Interactive Entertainment. The fund will be awarded to students showing innovation and initiative in interactive media.

Bachus was one the original creators of the Xbox console, while working as the DirectX group product manager at Microsoft. He currently serves as Dave & Buster's senior vice president of entertainment & games strategy.

Summers helped designed the audio capabilities for the original Xbox and created one of the industry's first support teams for content creators. After leaving Microsoft, she founded Syndicate 17, an audio production studio based in Seattle and Los Angeles.

"There has never been a greater opportunity than there is today for talented and passionate individuals to come together and create the legendary game studios of tomorrow," said Bachus. "The Bachus-Summers Fund for Innovation in Interactive Entertainment is meant to do two things: to recognize and reward the most innovative work by a student in the Interactive Media & Games Division and to encourage that student to build their own future, for themselves and for others, after leaving school. It is our expectation that the recipients of this Fund will be provided with the tools to build lasting creative and commercial success."

"I've seen first-hand that the most meaningful work is always achieved when visionaries take risks and break boundaries," said Summers. "Creative and talented individuals must be allowed to realize their dreams, regardless of resources. When thinking about this Fund, it was critical to us that it be used directly to support the efforts of tomorrow's creative and entrepreneurial leaders."

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.