Only thirty-three years young, Savannah College of Art and Design has grown exponentially since its beginning in 1978. Cofounder Paula Wallace has been president since 2000, and under her leadership the school has more than doubled its enrollment to 10,300-plus students, started an award-winning online program, and opened three branch campuses: Lacoste, France, in 2002; Atlanta in 2005; and Hong Kong in 2010.
At SCAD’s flagship campus, the historic landscape of Savannah offers a more traditional college-town experience and hosts the school’s staple annual events. SCAD Atlanta, with more than 1,700 students, is located in the heart of Midtown, where big-city networking opportunities abound. The newest venture in Hong Kong offers eight programs of study, and the Lacoste campus allows students to choose from a constant rotation of classes. (Current programs include architectural history and sequential art.)
SCAD offers 107 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forty-three areas of study, plus six certificate programs—more degrees than any other art and design school in the world. Three additional disciplines are offered exclusively at SCAD Atlanta: printmaking, television producing, and sculpture. Especially popular undergraduate majors include animation, fashion, photography, and graphic design. Graduate programs in interior design and design management have won top national recognition.
SCAD’s career services make sure students don’t end up as starving artists by providing guidance on portfolios, entrepreneurship, salary negotiation, and branding. For the past four years, eight out of ten graduates have either been offered employment or were admitted to graduate school within six months of commencement.
Annual SCAD events in downtown Savannah include the International Festival on Broughton Street; a student fashion show; and the Savannah Film Festival, featuring work from both industry award winners and student filmmakers. Honorees at the 2010 festival included Isabella Rossellini and Liam Neeson, and panels were led by big-name guests such as director Michael Lembeck (Emmy winner for Friends) and film editors of the hit show Lost.
Photograph courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design