In 1912 SAIC alum James Earle Fraser was commissioned to redesign the nickel.
James Earle Fraser (1876–1953) was a sculptor and teacher, known for producing monuments and memorials, such as the Benjamin Franklin Memorial in Philadelphia. His father exposed him to stories of life on the frontier of the American West, which can be seen in themes Fraser explored in his work. Fraser studied at SAIC from 1890 to 1894. In 1911 Fraser answered the United States Treasury Office’s call for a redesign of the nickel. In 1912 Secretary of the Treasury approved Fraser’s sketch of a buffalo for one side of the coin, and the profile of an American Indian on the other. Production of the “Buffalo nickel” was discontinued in 1938 but the design was adapted for a commemorative silver dollar in 2001.