SCAD Savannah – Winter 2016 – Luxury and Fashion Management – Classroom Coverage – Morris Hall – Photography by Chia Chong

The Savannah College of Art and Design continues to serve as a rich source for its local economy. In fact, a recent economic impact study revealed that SCAD generates an impressive $600 million annually for the state of Georgia.

The report, conducted by national consulting firm Tripp Umbach, showcases the university’s “cultural, economic and charitable contributions” in Savannah and Atlanta on a yearly basis. It also demonstrates that 22 percent of graduates from the university stay within the state. And according to the college, this level of retention notably increases Georgia’s earning potential and productivity across industries.

Paul Umbach, founder of Tripp Umbach, reiterated that the effect the university has had on its communities as well as the economies of Savannah, Atlanta and the state of Georgia in general has been notable. “We have never seen an institution with a greater transformational impact on its local community than SCAD,” he said. “SCAD is the cultural heart of Savannah and the engine driving Georgia’s new economy.”

The college pointed out that via “entrepreneurialism and innovation, community-facing events and charitable endeavors,” SCAD’s students, faculty, staff and alumni have boosted the “economic vitality of SCAD’s hometown communities.”

SCAD has also fueled the revitalization of Savannah neighborhoods, transforming and repurposing what the school described as “forgotten historic structures” into residence halls, classrooms and more. According to the university, the result has been award-winning conservation projects that have contributed to rising real estate values in the city.

“Most visible are the buildings SCAD has transformed, and most important are the lives SCAD has transformed,” said Paula Wallace, president and founder, offering her take on the university’s impact.

Beyond these influences, the university pointed out it has helped lessen crime and has helped form safer communities through initiatives related to public safety.

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