At our most recent Commencement Ceremony, I had the pleasure of awarding Walter Massey his 42nd honorary degree. Walter is cherished by so many institutions for the extraordinary achievement and leadership he has exhibited throughout all the fields he has explored in his professional life, including science, civil service, higher education, and philanthropy. Even as he retires from his chancellorship of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) on June 30, Walter will continue to be a leader in education and learning through his many appointments, including his roles as chairman of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization and chairman of the board for City Colleges of Chicago. For all of these reasons, we want SAIC to continue its relationship with Walter, who was president from 2010–16.
I am therefore pleased to announce that Walter Massey will become the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's first president emeritus, effective July 1, 2018. While this honorific title confers no particular job duties or day-to-day presence on campus, it underscores our mutual commitment to supporting many of the projects that took root during Walter's presidency, including an increased connection to the city, through programs like our classroom space at Homan Square and the College Arts Access Program; more robust fundraising efforts, such as Beautiful/Work: The Campaign for SAIC, which will conclude June 30, 2018, and has already exceeded the $50 million goal; and the Walter and Shirley Massey Chicago Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based undergraduate scholarships for Chicago Public School graduates.
Please join me in congratulating President Emeritus Walter Massey and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in our ongoing partnership.