MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS, NICK CANNON, DARREN CRISS AND MORE SURPRISE COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH "RANDOM ACTS OF mtvU," AIRING ON MTV, MTV2 AND mtvU STARTING MAY 6
Students Across the Country Surprised with Gifts Ranging from $24,000 in Tuition Funding to VIP Passes to See Their Favorite Artists
New York, NY (May 2, 2013) - MTV, MTV2 and mtvU today announced that the networks are teaming with Usher, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nick Cannon and Darren Criss to surprise several worthy students across the country with a kind gesture, or "Random Act of mtvU," to celebrate the end of the school year. Starting Monday, May 6, and premiering throughout that week, MTV, MTV2 and mtvU will air segments in which hardworking, civic-minded students are surprised with appearances, grants and gifts from the networks and some of the biggest celebrities in pop culture. Each segment will premiere on MTV during the 4 p.m. ET/PT hour and subsequently run on MTV2 and mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network that reaches nearly 9 million students on more than 750 college campuses. The special week of programming includes the following pieces:
· Monday, May 6: "Howard University Tuition Pay-off." "Random Acts of mtvU" begins at Howard University, when Usher and MTV's Sway Calloway astonish student Corey Arvinger with a $12,000 check to pay off his debt and come back to campus. The funds are provided by mtvU and SALT, a free resource that helps college students and recent alumni break down the overwhelming world of student debt and take charge of their finances. Additionally, Howard University agreed to match the donation with another check for $12,000 to further his education, as part of the University's Bridging the Gap Student Campaign. Arvinger had been working two jobs at home while trying to raise tuition money online by starting a Web site and asking people to send in donations as little as $4 to help crowdsource his education.
· Tuesday, May 7: "St. Joseph's University Ultimate Fan Fly-Away." Macklemore & Ryan Lewis crash the campus of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia to surprise ultimate fan Julia Collins, a sophomore at the school. Inspired by the duo's music to work with the St. Joseph's University "Summer Scholars" program, which supports LGBT homeless youth, Collins has also spent her past two spring breaks volunteering. As a reward for her selflessness, Collins spent time with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and they provided her with two VIP tickets to see them perform at the Hangout Festival. Click here for a preview of the segment.
· Wednesday, May 8: "University of South Florida Student Veteran Salute." mtvU and Nick Cannon surprise Kiersten Downs, a doctoral student at South Florida University and Air Force veteran, who is planning a cross-country bike ride to raise money for the Student Veterans of America. Downs, who served in the Air Force for seven years with three deployments and one tour in Iraq, will begin her ride on June 1, 2013, traveling from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., and the journey will be documented for a special three-part mtvU series slated for a fall premiere. mtvU and Cannon will present her with gear and gift cards for the trip, in addition to dedicating support for her cause on social media.
· Thursday, May 9: "Princeton University Reward for Healing Cause." Leora Friedman, a junior at Princeton University, is trying to change the lives of seriously ill patients through her love of music and passion for philanthropy. At the age of 15, she began the organization Music Is Medicine and what started as a local service project has since transformed into an award-winning organization that has bettered the lives of countless young patients. mtvU will provide her organization with a $1,000 grant to further her efforts, plus she received a surprise from Darren Criss, musician and star of FOX's "Glee," who asked her to walk the red carpet with him at the 2013 "MTV Video Music Awards" to promote Music Is Medicine.
One of MTV's 2013 Artists to Watch, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a duo from Seattle, Washington, have emerged as a premier international hip-hop group known for their electrifying live shows and innovative music videos and media. The group has broken new ground by independently releasing their debut full-length album, The Heist, which shot into the #1 spot on iTunes and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' wildly popular music videos have amassed over 500 million views on YouTube. Additionally, their music has been featured on MTV's "I'm Positive" special and MTV2's "Dub Magazine Project." They have also performed on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon", "Late Show with David Letterman," "Saturday Night Live" and garnered national media attention in Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, TIME and GQ, among others.
Named by People magazine as one of the Top Ten Most Successful People in Young Hollywood and featured on the cover of Black Enterprises' 40 Under 40, Nick Cannon's rapid rise to success in film and television has had its monumental peaks, which include Nickelodeon's award-winning The Nick Cannon Show, along with a breakout role in the 2002 movie "Drumline." Most recently, Cannon appeared on MTV2's original comedic-game show series "Hip Hop Squares," starring in the all-important center square in addition to his hosting duties on NBC's "America's Got Talent." In July 2013, he will host the re-imagined improv comedy show "Nick Cannon Presents Wild N Out" on MTV2.
This summer, multi-charting musician and composer Darren Criss will embark on his first-ever North American solo tour. Entitled LISTEN UP, the sold-out tour will visit sixteen cities including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto and San Francisco, where the tour will kick-off on May 29. Additionally, Criss will make his theatrical debut in the film Girl Most Likely, alongside Kristen Wiig, Annett Benning and Matt Dillon. Criss is quickly becoming one of the most sought after actors and musicians of his generation. He has gone from YouTube sensation to a six-time Billboard charting musician and composer, who currently stars as Blaine Anderson on FOX's Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series "Glee."
SALT is a free educational resource that provides simple, smart, personalized ways for college students and recent graduates to take control of their student debt and manage their finances. With a combination of helpful tools, tailored information, and unbiased expertise, SALT helps young people borrow less, borrow smart and repay their loans in a way that works for them. SALT was created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit organization with 50+ years experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans.
For more information on "Random Acts of mtvU," go to mtvU.com.
MTV is the world's premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy(R), Grammy(R) and Peabody(R) award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV's sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is a leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
Available in approximately 80 million homes MTV2 is man's best friend. Since its launch in 1996, the network has reflected the subversive interests and behaviors of young men with a compelling and diverse programming line-up inspired by ordinary guys who do extraordinary things. MTV2 is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses and via top cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, mtvU reaches nearly 9 million U.S. college students - making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S., as well as on cable systems from Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, Suddenlink Communications, AT&T u-Verse and nearly 70 others. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on the campus. mtvU programs music videos from emerging artists that can't be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change. mtvU is always on campus, with hundreds of events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvu.com.