Fisk Alumnus and President and CEO of Music World Entertainment Mathew Knowles will present a lecture to current students titled “Thinking Outside of the Box” for the University’s Global and Community Engagement Lecture Series on September 15, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. in the Fisk Memorial Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.
In “Thinking Outside of the Box”, Knowles emphasizes a hands-on approach to goal and achievement that involves pursuing and landing career-based internships as well as networking with fellow students to pursue similar professional and career interests. Also this fall, Knowles will conduct a three-part entertainment industry seminar for Fisk’s music and business majors.
“I look forward to being a servant of Fisk University,” Knowles said. “I remember being at Fisk’s radio station [WFSK] with a fraternity brother, David Lombard and all we did was dream. He went on to put together a group called “En Vogue” and I put together a group called “Destiny’s Child” and it was because of a dream right here at Fisk University.”
“Matthew returns to his alma mater as a successful businessman and professional role model,” said Fisk’s President Hazel R. O’Leary. “We are honored to have him share his many achievements during our Global and Community Engagement Lecture Series. He brings a wealth of experience earned through success in the highly competitive world of the music business that will be informative and inspiring both to our students and to members of the Nashville community interested in his incredible story.”
Knowles’ return to Fisk comes 4 months after he was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters during the University’s Commencement 2008 ceremony. In his acceptance speech, Knowles’ recalled that his first thoughts of success as a leader in the entertainment world began at Fisk and that he welcomed the opportunity to give back to his alma mater.
After graduating from Fisk University in 1974, he began his professional career as a marketing and sales professional and earned the rank of the Xerox Corporation’s top salesman of MRI, medical equipment. Knowles decided to leave Xerox in 1989 and moved into fulltime music management and founded Music World Entertainment. Knowles’ efforts led to the mainstream success of “Destiny’s Child,” as well as the solo careers of Destiny’s Child members Beyoncé, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. In addition to managing, Mr. Knowles has also guided the careers of Earth Wind and Fire, The O’Jays, Chaka Khan, Mario, Gospel trio Trin-i-tee 5:7, Lyfe Jennings, Katy Shotter, 2Much, Brian C. Wilson, Billy Joe Shaver, and his youngest daughter, Solange.
Under Knowles leadership, Music World Entertainment has become one of the world’s leading entertainment and music conglomerates and its services include record labels, artist and producer management, artist development, Master catalog series and investment and property holdings. Based in Houston, Texas, Music World Entertainment also has offices in Los Angeles, California, New York, New York and London, England.
Knowles has garnered many awards for his achievements in business and the music industry and was recently named the “2007 International Executive of the Year” by the Greater Houston Partnership and honored by the City of Houston with the declaration of “Mathew Knowles Day”. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Recording Academy of Texas.
His newest addition to the MWE office complex is the House of Deréon entertainment venue (which houses a rehearsal hall, state of the art recording studio and media center). The facility, owned by the Knowles, occupies an entire city block in downtown Houston.
Philanthropy plays an important part in Mr. Knowles life. In conjunction with Beyoncé, Tina Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Solange Knowles he has established the “Survivor Foundation”, “The Knowles Rowland Center” and the “Knowles Rowland Temenos Place Apartments” (St. Johns Downtown) to be able to give back to those in need, in addition to donating to numerous non-profit organizations throughout the world. They also launched The Beyoncé Experience Tour Food Drive in the U.S. and a Beyoncé Experience Global Food Drive around the world to help combat world hunger. To learn more go to www.thesurvivorfoundationofhouston.org or www.musicworldentertainment.com.