Letter from the president


Four decades ago, my family and I invented SCAD ex nihilo. I still marvel at the faith that the very first SCAD students and professors placed — sight unseen — in what would soon become a revolution in higher education. In founding SCAD, I was led by the principle that education is a fundamentally optimistic endeavor, one that presupposes that minds and bodies can be transformed through changes in behavior. Further, I believed that this same principle applied to arts education. Creativity can be taught and refined!

Beyond benefiting from formal education, artists are well served by a rigorous foundation in the liberal arts. Consider that art is a concept that is embodied and shared. A poem must be penned or declaimed, a dance performed, or a sculpture realized before it can leave the realm of idea and enter the domain of art. Once realized, art becomes a vehicle for communication. SCAD foundation studies and general education courses provide graduates with a two-fold benefit: inspiration and a vocabulary and cultural frame of reference with which to articulate and contextualize their own artistic manifestos. Art is an all-encompassing endeavor. As John Ruskin wrote, "Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together."

Guided by the North Star of the SCAD mission and my own philosophy of creative education, I created an ideal learning environment at SCAD, incorporating attributes that proved highly effective in my elementary school classrooms. Students of all ages benefit from an education that is at once personal, experiential, and joyous — and the SCAD education is testament!

Ars longa, vita brevis,

Paula S. Wallace
SCAD president and founder