Class project provides links to Atlanta’s past

Savannah College of Art and Design students in the SCADpro course toured historic Ivy Hall as part of a project to highlight some of Atlanta's significant properties.

Credit: Bobby Falcey

Credit: Bobby Falcey

Savannah College of Art and Design students in the SCADpro course toured historic Ivy Hall as part of a project to highlight some of Atlanta's significant properties.

Applying classroom skills and artistic talents to real-world problems is the goal of SCADpro, a program of the Savannah College of Art and Design that pairs students with organizations looking for some creative input. Alex Page, the regional senior luxury lead for the Compass real estate firm had heard of the program and decided it was a great way to boost his business.

“Compass is a New York-based company, and I identified a need to develop greater roots in the Atlanta company,” said Page, who joined the firm in 2021. “I had seen what SCADpro did for other clients and companies, so I reached out.”

During the spring term, Page gave 17 SCAD students a crash course on Compass then challenged them to find a way to connect the company to the Atlanta community. He was particularly focused on having a campaign that highlighted the area’s arts and culture. Students interviewed Compass agents, researched the city’s history and presented seven creative options for Page to review, from large-scale, digital scrabble games to outdoor artworks. But the idea that resonated most was The Atlanta Legacy Trail, a multi-media look at eight of the city’s most significant historic sites. The website, an accompanying video and a social media campaign were created with archival images.

SCADpro team member Suzaan Steyn said the program highlights Atlanta history while introducing Compass to the community.

“Our research team reached out to about 40 properties to see who would want to be a part of this, and we included those who were open and welcoming,” she said. “We also partnered with the Atlanta Preservation Center on that.”

For student Emma Herseth, learning about the city was as important as sharpening her creative skills.

“It became really clear that Atlanta is a place that respects history and legacy,” she said. “I loved learning about Ivy Hall and the Swan House. But it was also important to see how my skills translate to the workplace. I learned how to manage a creative team, to guide a project with creative individuals who have brilliant ideas and to hone everything down to a refined, polished idea.”

Giving students real-world practice is SCADpro’s prime goal, said Professor Margot Ecke.

“It’s saying goodbye to the academic world and hello to the professional world,” she said. “The success rate of finding jobs after SCADpro is enticing for students who can put the experience on their LinkedIn profiles and look fabulous.”

The project also inspired Page to offer internships for the first time. “The company doesn’t typically do that, but it was important for us to give students the opportunity to learn that real estate isn’t just selling homes,” he said. “It’s marketing, finance, law and technology. They learned that, and we learned from them. We taught each other.”

Information about The Atlanta Legacy Trail is online at

SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at or 770-744-3042.