- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The foundation of late talk show host Johnny Carson has announced a $20 million gift to help create an academic program and facility focused on emerging media at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The university announced the gift on Friday. It will be used to help renovate about 30,000 square feet of the former Nebraska Bookstore building into the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/1NWVrii ). Over the years, Carson - who attended the university - and his foundation have awarded millions of dollars to various Nebraska institutions.

The school said coursework offered through the new program will teach students skills they can use in filmmaking, game design, television production, theater, advertising, social media, business, architecture, science, education and agriculture. The center is expected to open in 2018.

“Johnny Carson was an innovator of television, which was certainly the emerging media of his era,” Allan Alexander, president of the Carson Foundation, said Friday at a news conference to announce the gift. “Because of this and his legacy at Nebraska, we are especially pleased to support the education endeavors of many future generations who wish to follow in his footsteps as media innovators.”

Carson was born in Corning, Iowa, but he and his family moved to Nebraska when he was 8. He graduated from Norfolk High school and then attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Carson hosted NBC’s “The Tonight Show” for 30 years. He died in California in 2005.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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