A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

A Community of Shared Passion


After Regis W. Haid Jr.'s son elected to attend SAIC, the Atlanta-based neurological surgeon was eager to learn how he could help donate his time to the school—for his family, as well as for the entire community. Haid, who, in addition to being a renowned surgeon, is also a scientist, educator, and author, is especially interested in enriching student experiences through a focus on mental health and wellness. Optimizing their quality of life while in school is important not just from an academic standpoint, but from a physical one as well. 

"All of us who volunteer our time and efforts will echo the refrain that we receive more than we give," he says. "The real value is not just the bricks and mortar [of the school] or the beautiful installations of art, but the pleasure of seeing these young people engage in their community of a shared passion for art, its function in our society, its interface with science and industry, and the sheer enjoyment of how it enriches our lives." 

As an active leader of SAIC's newly-formed Parents Council, he finds it a treat to work with others from interdisciplinary fields and collaborate with artists, scientists, and scholars to foster opportunities for supportive learning environments. 

Dr. Haid also extends his efforts to give back to the school through his role as a member of the Board of Governors, where he enjoys working with a group of devoted individuals to learn more about higher education, art, and philanthropy to ensure that the SAIC community flourishes for years to come. "I truly believe we all stand on the shoulders of the preceding generations," he says. "Like others before us, our children must also learn the value of societal commitment, compassion, sharing, and mutual accountability."

"I have always been taught to pass it forward for the next generation," Dr. Haid replies when asked about his ongoing commitment to the school. "It is crucial to give back to our passions in life."