The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) announced the expansion of SCAD SERVE, bringing together the SCAD community to listen to the needs of its neighbors and local leaders, and to envision meaningful design solutions that improve quality of life. Through active engagement and volunteerism in the university’s hometowns of Atlanta and Savannah, SCAD SERVE seeks to make a positive impact on four critical areas of need: food, shelter, clothing, and environment.
“Over our 43-year history, SCAD has always exemplified generous volunteerism through myriad worthwhile endeavors —computer donations for school children, historic preservation of Sapelo Island’s First African Baptist Church, tons of produce gifted from SCAD Back40’s organic farm, SCAD Buzz Bus educational supplies for schools, artworks for hospitals, and much, much more,” said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. “SCAD’s renowned expertise and altruism uplift our neighbors and help those in need.” Energy. Education.
SCAD SERVE focuses the vast knowledge of more than 700 professors and the entire SCAD learning community —spanning 100+ degree programs—to alleviate suffering and help those in need. This initiative leverages the creative thinking and positive energy of SCAD students, alumni, faculty, and staff in three ways:
The entire SCAD community is invited to participate in acts of service from coastal cleanup days to food drives. SCAD SERVE amplifies student volunteer efforts in Atlanta and Savannah.
2. Curriculum: SCAD faculty incorporate SCAD SERVE objectives into curriculum across 40+ disciplines to lead ideation and concept development.
3. Studio: Multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty work together in a professional studio environment to develop design solutions for broad practical application. Professional SCAD alumni provide mentorship, enhancing career preparation and positive outcomes.
Each school year hundreds of SERVE Student Volunteers contribute approximately 4,000 hours to the Savannah Community.
SCAD generates $766 million in economic impact for Georgia each year, according to a study by Tripp Umbach. The study found SCAD has a tremendous and overwhelmingly positive influence on the vitality of the economy in the state, through jobs, student and visitor spending, events, construction, alumni earning power, public safety, and charitable giving.
With renovations slated to begin in Spring 2021, SCAD will convert a historic three-story residence hall on Barnard Street, into 21 workforce housing units, defined as housing that can be attainable for less than 30% of gross household income.
“I am elated to learn of this initiative which strongly aligns with the goals of the City Council and our Housing Savannah Task Force that there will be affordable housing for Savannahians,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson. “I am grateful to President Wallace and the SCAD family for this great contribution to our workforce housing inventory and for being a good neighbor.”
Launching in March 2021 during the university’s spring break, SCAD students, staff, and faculty, in coordination with Bon Appétit, prepared and distributed 500 boxes of healthy and nutritious ingredients that will feed a family of four for five days.
In early 2021 alone, SCAD has donated more than 3,000 pairs of socks — one of the most requested items in homeless shelters — to Union Mission in Savannah and Lostn Found Youth in Atlanta.