Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects: SAIC Concludes First-Ever Significant Fundraising Campaign with $55.2 Million

CHICAGO–The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, raised $55.2 million as part of its first ever significant fundraising effort, Beautiful/Work: The Campaign for SAIC, exceeding its goal to raise $50 million for student scholarships and faculty support by 10 percent.

“Beauty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is synonymous with work, and our Beautiful/Work campaign enables SAIC students and faculty to continue making significant and groundbreaking contributions to our society through contemporary art, design and scholarship,” said SAIC President Elissa Tenny. “The generosity of our donors renews me, because I see firsthand how important the work they support is. SAIC artists make meaning when they make art, and that is, in all senses of the word, beautiful.”

During the course of the public campaign, more than 2,150 individual donors from across the SAIC community and the city of Chicago made contributions ranging from $5 to $5 million.  More than half—1,223—gave to SAIC for the first time. Notably, 673 alumni contributed $12.3 million to the campaign.

Together, these contributions created a number of new opportunities for students and faculty, including:

  • $29.8 million for 38 new undergraduate and graduate student scholarships and fellowships, including 10 merit scholarships
  • $10.2 million for faculty, including four full professorships, one directorship and three part-time faculty awards
  • $9.9 million for academic departments and programs, including SAIC at Homan Square and the College Arts Access Program
  • $5.3 million for SAIC’s annual fund which helps provide students with financial aid, facility enhancements, technology improvements and academic programming, among other initiatives crucial to their education

Additionally, the campaign supported more than 150 Chicago Public High School students through scholarships and financial assistance from the Walter and Shirley Massey Chicago Scholarship Fund, SAIC’s College Arts Access Program and SAIC’s Bank of America Scholars program.

The SAIC community has more than 1,400 faculty and staff serving 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. More than 90 percent of these students receive financial assistance. Alums have artwork in museum collections throughout the world; work in communities as organizers and advocates; have designed remarkable objects, images and systems; and are scientists, scholars, mentors and cultural workers.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons and LeRoy Neiman. For more information, please visit


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