Summer Swarm brings in the new Bees!


Summer Swarm is an optional orientation session for first-year incoming students enrolled for fall quarter in Savannah. The goals of Summer Swarm are simple: lower anxiety, introduce students to one another, and familiarize them with the SCAD facilities.

Over the course of two days, students rotate in small groups through orientation sessions. These sessions introduce them to SCAD’s resources and policies, including:

After checking in on a Thursday morning, incoming students and their families gather in Trustees Theater for a warm welcome to Savannah and SCAD.  Students then tour the facilities most commonly used by first-year students, and participate in a foundation studies demo class. One demo class introduces the basics of portrait-drawing with charcoal. While many students started by admitting doubts about their drawing skills, the demo class soon put them at ease.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Cassandra Emilianchik from Clermont, Florida. “The demo class helped relieve some of the stress over what classes will be like.”

New students’ biggest concern — besides math classes — is making friends. Summer Swarm’s answer is “First Night,” featuring games, snacks and live music at the Student Center. Afterwards, students spend their first night in a SCAD residence hall.

“I really enjoyed the night session,” Emilianchik said. “I got to meet people, hang out and make friends.”

So, how much of an advantage does attending Summer Swarm give first-year students?

“My freshman year, the people who did Summer Swarm seemed to have a leg up on everyone else,” said Elisabeth Pritchett (B.F.A. film and television), a current student and Summer Swarm orientation assistant. “They already knew people and were familiar with the campus.”

Other big benefits Pritchett sees students getting out of Summer Swarm are having their questions answered before starting classes and “being able to meet other people, and realizing that their anxieties aren’t only their own.”

The 2016 Summer Swarm season is over, but the new Bees are just getting started. They’ll buzz back for classes when Fall quarter starts September 12.

SCAD welcomes its 35th class


Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Savannah are abuzz with the fresh energy of the class of 2017, new transfer and graduate students. SCAD’s 35th anniversary, to be celebrated throughout the year, loomed large over all orientation activities. In some places quite literally.

In Savannah, a huge 35 was projected on the wall of the Civic Center, symbolically replenishing itself with the faces of 2,400 new design denizens. Inside the arena new students, representing 49 states and more than 100 countries, listened as President Wallace recounted some of the iconic brands on which alumni have made their mark, such as Starbucks, Rolling Stone, Vera Wang, and Coke.

Michael Mack (B.F.A., Industrial Design) used his story of launching Michael Grey Footwear to encourage the crowd that their coursework and faculty can guide them to their dream careers: “Ask questions, work hard, keep an open mind and you’ll see your dreams come true.” 

The air-conditioned welcome was a much needed break from the late summer heat, which greeted students as they moved in and made merry in the shadow of a double decker bus and oversized photo of the 80 students who comprised SCAD’s very first class.

In Atlanta, alumna Feifei Sun (B.F.A., Advertising) told 500 incoming students that her best memories of SCAD are the “real-life experiences woven through every stage of my academic development.” Formerly of Time magazine, Feifei previewed her new website “Making It Atlanta,” where she’ll profile the city’s dynamic professionals. “I’ll be writing about some of you,” she predicted.

Among the ranks of SCAD Hong Kong’s 150 incoming students is interior design student Johnny Cheung Joy-lai, one of the newest members of Hong Kong’s Cycling Team. Orientation speaker senior Alfred Lee told Joy-lai and the others that he credits SCAD Hong Kong’s tight-knit community with the success he’s had, like winning the Disney Imaginations competition.

“The campus size and the student events will allow you to meet and learn from one another. I encourage each of you to be extremely motivated during your time here and take advantage of all the opportunities that SCAD provides,” Lee said.

SCAD Hong Kong’s newest students also participated in the 35th anniversary kick-off celebration, answering the question, “Where do you see yourself at 35?”