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Board of Trustees

SCAD, a private, nonprofit, accredited, degree-granting university for art and design, is governed by the university's elected Board of Trustees, which serves as the supreme authority of the institution by establishing the university's mission and broad policies for the university, securing financial resources to adequately support the university's goals, and electing the president. The SCAD administration is accountable to the Board of Trustees. Board members direct the administration of the university to implement and comply with the policies and guidelines required by the criteria for accreditation issued by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Board of Trustees holds biannual meetings to conduct any and all business.

Board member PJ Johnson

Pharris (P.J.) Johnson


P.J. Johnson, a retired Air Force colonel and author of several local history books, is former mayor of Bellville, Georgia. Johnson earned a Master of Arts in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design, a Master of Arts in business management from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Georgia. Previously, Johnson was chief of staff for executive administration at SCAD and senior vice president at Varec Inc. in Atlanta. From 2005 to 2012, Johnson served as vice president for SCAD Atlanta. Upon his retirement in 2012, Johnson was honored at the SCAD Atlanta commencement ceremony with an honorary doctorate from SCAD. In 2018, Johnson became a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow.

Board member Veronica Biggins

J. Veronica Biggins

Veronica Biggins is the managing partner of the Atlanta office of Diversified Search, an executive search firm, and chairs the firm’s board practice. Previously, Biggins served as executive vice president for human resources at NationsBank (now Bank of America), and managing partner at Hodge Partners executive search firm. She also served as an assistant to the President of the United States and director of Presidential Personnel under President Bill Clinton. Biggins received a Daily Points of Light Award from President George Walker Bush for her leadership of the Czech Slovak American Enterprise Fund. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center, the Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines and is a member emerita of the CDC Foundation Board and the National Association of Corporate Directors Governance Council. Biggins holds a Master of Arts in psychology and sociology from Spelman College and a Master of Education degree from Georgia State University, and she completed the Advanced Leadership Fellow program at Harvard University. She previously served on the SCAD Board of Visitors and chaired the board from 2015 to 2017.

Board member Nancy

Lucy Cookson

Lucy Cookson is the founder, president and creative director of Thumbelina Needlework Design and Collection in East Hampton, New York, and specializes in watercolor, hand-embellished digital prints, mixed media and needlework. Her work is included in personal art collections throughout the U.S. and has been exhibited in distinguished venues, including hotels, high-end department stores, museums and galleries. Cookson, who also has several years of teaching experience, serves on the Guild House Artist-in-Residence program committee as a trustee of Guild Hall in East Hampton. She is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Board member John Kennedy

John G. Kennedy III

John G. Kennedy III has more than 30 years of experience in investment banking and is currently a managing director at Solebury Capital. He previously served as managing director and head of capital markets at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., an energy-only investment bank; senior vice president of Merrill Lynch; managing director of Deutsche Bank investment banking group; and managing director of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Kennedy is a director on boards at several public companies and nonprofits, and he previously served on the SCAD Board of Visitors. Kennedy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Business Administration at the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. A native of Savannah, Georgia, Kennedy resides in both Savannah and Houston, Texas.

Board member Robert L. Nardelli

Robert (Bob) L. Nardelli

Bob Nardelli is the founder of XLR-8 Investment & Advisory Company and is a senior adviser at Cerberus Capital Management. Previously, he served as CEO of Cerberus Operations & Advisory Company; CEO, chairman and member of the Board of Managers of Chrysler; and chairman, president and CEO of The Home Depot. Nardelli began his career at General Electric in 1971, quickly advancing through senior leadership positions. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Western Illinois University and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Louisville. Nardelli serves on the Board of Directors of the Wounded Warrior Project and the Babcock and Wilcox Company, among others. In 2011, Nardelli was awarded an honorary doctorate from SCAD. He also previously served on the SCAD Board of Visitors.

Board member Sally Waranch Rajcic

Sally Waranch Rajcic

Sally Waranch Rajcic is a businesswoman and philanthropist in southern California. She is the owner and director of the Sarah Bain Gallery, owner of Rancho Vista Golf Club, co-owner of Chateau Eze Hotel, and is president of the Ronald C. Waranch Charitable Foundation. Rajcic is the former director of The Muckenthaler Cultural Center.

Board member Stuart Saunders

Stuart Saunders, M.D.

Stuart Saunders is an orthopaedic surgeon practicing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Saunders has written many abstracts, reports and articles that have been published in The American Surgeon, the American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology, the Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. Saunders earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004 from the University of Mississippi and his Doctor of Medicine in 2010 from the Medical University of South Carolina. Previously, Saunders was a research specialist at MUSC in the department of cardiothoracic surgical research and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He completed an Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Saunders' extensive volunteer service includes the Children's Home of North Carolina, the Charleston Miracle League, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and sports medicine for high school football teams.

Board member Anita Thomas

Anita Thomas

Anita Thomas is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Michael. Thomas previously chaired the SCAD Atlanta Advisory Council for five years and previously served on the SCAD Board of Visitors. She has been active in the community all her life, having served on the Georgia Council for the Arts and at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. A jewelry designer, Thomas formed Anita's Accents, Ltd., and her designs were featured in The New York Times, Atlanta Journal, Northside Neighbor and several jewelry publications. She has been a contributing editor for Southern Accents magazine, Veranda Magazine and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Thomas also was honored as one of the 2014 Women of Style and Substance.

Board member Albie

Alan B. (Albie) Whitaker III

Albie Whitaker III is an entrepreneur and private investor. He previously worked at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Bernstein Global Wealth Management, and in the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch. A passionate runner and advocate for individuals with disabilities, Whitaker serves in leadership roles at The Shepherd Center Society at Shepherd Center, a hospital for patients with brain and spinal cord injuries. Whitaker served as chair of the SCAD Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2018.