Get Involved

Year after year, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) alums give back to the School by sharing their expertise, time, and talents. If you’re looking to lend your support and get involved, consider making a gift to the School or explore additional opportunities below. 

 

Parent and Family Council

The Parent and Family Council is a group of SAIC leaders who play a valuable role in the life and success of the School through their support as investors and ambassadors. Members demonstrate their support with a minimum annual gift of $2,500 to the Parent and Family Internship Fund, which provides SAIC students with stipends to pursue valuable summer internships that are unpaid, underpaid, or in high-cost areas.

Joining the council provides members a unique opportunity to hear directly from senior administrators, connect with fellow parents, and advance important initiatives that benefit students. If you want to learn more about the Parent and Family Council, please contact Lauren Suitors, associate director, parent and family philanthropy, at lsuitors@saic.edu or 312.499.4193.

Volunteer

Getting involved at SAIC through our wide variety of volunteer opportunities is one of the best ways to show your support for the School and your student(s). Every year, parents and families participate in activities hosted by our Admissions, Student Affairs, and Career and Professional Experience offices. Alums participate in activities hosted by our Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) and Admissions offices. Let us know if you're interested by filling out this brief form, and read the sections below to learn more about all the ways alums can give back to SAIC students!

 

Alums are invited to volunteer through SAIC’s Career and Professional Experience office. You can share your experience, give advice, and offer internships and jobs to SAIC students and alums. Below are some ways you can volunteer time with SAIC.

Expert Exchange
offers students and alumni the opportunity to connect virtually, either individually or with a group, with creative professionals and Chicago business leaders about venture ideas and future careers. Held weekly on Fridays during the fall and spring semesters, Expert Exchange is a great opportunity for alums to provide industry insight and personalized career advice, as well as answers to students’ and fellow alums’ specific questions. More information can be found here.

To participate as an “expert” in this program, please contact the assistant director of employer relations at careers@saic.edu.

Host an Intern 
CAPX supports on-site, remote and hybrid internships and welcomes you to host SAIC interns. Internships may be offered for the fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions. Get started by accessing Handshake to create your profile and post your internship. Learn more about CAPX’s internship program requirements here

If you are interested in hosting an internship, please contact the assistant director of employer relations at careers@saic.edu.

Participate in a Practical Workshop
The alumni engagement office and CAPX have partnered to host a series of practical workshops for students and alums, showcasing alums and experts who present on topics relevant to the everyday lives and work of artists and creatives (e.g. grant writing, social media marketing, and more!).

If you are interested in being a featured expert for a practical workshop, please contact Director of CAPX, Kate Schutta at kschutta@saic.edu.

Portfolio Reviews
SAIC students and alums come to CAPX seeking portfolio critiques from professionals in a variety of fields. Portfolio reviews take place on a weekly or bi-weekly basis throughout the academic year, and CAPX is always looking for alums in creative fields to provide critiques and constructive feedback.

If you are interested in participating in portfolio reviews, please contact the assistant director of employer relations at careers@saic.edu.

CAPX offers an honorarium to alums who participate in Expert Exchange, Practical Workshops, and Portfolio Reviews in order to support professionals in the art and design community. If you’d prefer to donate your time through these programs to further support the School, please let CAPX know.

Portfolio Tip Tuesday 
Portfolio Tip Tuesdays are a great way for prospective students to learn about the different aspects that go into submitting a portfolio. Each Tuesday, a different topic is covered, regarding portfolio preparation for your SAIC application. Alums can be a valuable voice in these discussions, to speak to their own experiences at SAIC and beyond.

Coffee with Counselor Series 
Prospective students meet virtually with admissions counselors, staff, and alums to hear more about the application process, prospective students’ work, the School’s curriculum, and get a better sense of what it is like to be a student at SAIC. 

SAIC Days
Attend an in-person or virtual event within your region as a parent speaker. These events provide prospective students and their families an opportunity to learn more about life at SAIC. As a parent speaker you can share your own experiences with the application process, your students transition to SAIC, and any other words of wisdom.

Interested in volunteering? Contact saic-parentscouncil@saic.edu for more information.

Undergraduate Portfolio Review Days
Alums can assist with reviewing portfolios of prospective students by providing feedback, and also sharing admissions information. Portfolio reviews happen in-person and/or virtually and do require training from Admissions in advance.

Undergraduate Admissions offers an honorarium to alums who participate in Portfolio Reviews in order to support professionals in the art and design community. If you’d prefer to donate your time to give back to the School, please let Admissions know.

Interested in volunteering with Undergraduate Admissions? Please contact ugadmiss@saic.edu for more information.

Meet with Prospective Students 
Prospective students meet virtually with admissions counselors, staff, and alums to hear more about the application process, prospective students’ work, the School’s curriculum, and get a better sense of what it is like to be a student at SAIC. 

Meetings are scheduled by appointment by Graduate Admissions. A training session will occur in August 2021.

Graduate Portfolio Days 
Provide reviews to prospective graduate students. Discuss SAIC culture and basic admissions details. Events are both in-person in Chicago, NYC, and San Francisco, as well as virtual.

Portfolio days occur annually in October and November, with a training session in September. Further details are available annually at saic.edu/graduate/events-and-visit.

Community Critique Day 
Students present your work virtually to faculty, alumni, and fellow applicants for feedback prior to submission. Reviews can be discipline-specific or interdisciplinary, and provide an opportunity to meet faculty, alumni, and members of the future incoming class.

Community Critique Day usually occurs in December. Event details are available annually at saic.edu/grnext.

Receptions for Admitted Students 
At these celebratory welcome events for newly admitted SAIC graduate students, alums can speak with these new students about their own SAIC experience and how it’s shaped their lives post-graduation.

Receptions occur annually in March and April. Further details can be found at saic.edu/grnext.

Meet with Admitted Students 
Prospective students meet virtually with admissions counselors, staff, and alums to hear more about the application process, prospective students’ work, the School’s curriculum, and get a better sense of what it is like to be a student at SAIC. 

Meetings are scheduled by appointment by Grad admissions; training sessions will occur in December.

Interested in volunteering with Graduate Admissions? Please contact Patrick 'Q' Quilao at pquilao@saic.edu for more information.

Parent & Family Council members serve as ambassadors at admissions events as well as help answer questions and concerns for parents of students who are applying or students who have been admitted.

The School dedicates a number of days in August for students to move-in and get settled into their residence halls. Parent & Family Council volunteers help answer questions, welcome students and families, and serve as a friendly face by providing hospitality and warmth. Our families always enjoy being a part of this exciting student experience!

 

Why I Give

“My daughter has very much enjoyed her studies at SAIC and has kept improving over the past few years. SAIC does hard work and takes good care of its students. My daughter has benefited a lot from it. As parents, we want to extend our gratitude to SAIC and give our support from the bottom of our hearts.”

Cuiyue Tang, P’2021

“Our son would not be the artist he is today without SAIC’s rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, and to help ensure other international students have the same opportunities, my husband and I are making a gift to the School.”

Nandita Swarup, P’2019

“As two working parents, value and affordability were important considerations to us in the college decision process. Sending our daughter to SAIC is an investment in her education and her future, and we were fortunate that she received a merit scholarship to offset some of the costs. Through its faculty, facilities, and scholarship opportunities, it is apparent to us that SAIC provides a significant value to the student experience. Making a gift to the School is our way of supporting SAIC’s mission to offer a world-class art and design education.”

Beth Hotchko and Sandy Potter, P’2022

 

Ways to Give

Year after year, support from parents and families helps us to build and shape an exemplary educational experience for SAIC students. If you’re looking to lend your support, consider making a gift to the School or joining our Parent and Family Council.

 

When you donate to SAIC, you can choose an area of support that is most meaningful to you: the Fund for SAIC (Unrestricted), Career Preparedness Fund, Civic Engagement Fund, Parent and Family Fund, Scholarship Fund, Student Emergency Fund, and/or Wellness Fund.

You can now choose to give monthly through a recurring donation, making it easy to extend your support throughout the year. Select “make my gift recurring” on the online giving form or ask when you arrange your donation over the phone.

You can learn more information about annual giving here.

Unrestricted gifts to the Parent and Family Fund by current or former SAIC parents allow the School to address emerging priorities where funding is needed most.

Giving Day is an annual fundraising event where our entire community of alums, parents, faculty, staff, and friends come together on one day to support SAIC students.

On Giving Day, you can invest in student scholarships, wellness services, access to internships and career advising, and so much more with a gift of any size. It takes place yearly, and you’ll receive information on how to participate in the weeks leading up to the event.

Questions? Contact us at GivetoSAIC@saic.edu or 312.499.4190 to learn more.

Are you a parent of a graduating student? We invite you to make a special contribution in honor of your child’s graduation. Establish a named family fund to support an area of the School that is meaningful to your family.

Funds are established with a minimum gift of $25,000 ($50,000 for endowments), which can be pledged over five years and support a School priority such as student wellness, career preparedness, need-based student scholarships, and more. Beyond your initial commitment, your family can continue giving to your fund for years to come.

To learn more about making an honorary capstone gift,  please reach out to Lauren Suitors, associate director, parent and family philanthropy at  lsuitors@saic.edu.

 

Follow this link for a downloadable version of the Parent and Family Philanthropy Brochure and learn about more ways to give.