Santa Fe University of Art and Design

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design
Santa Fe University of Art and Design logo 2012.png
Former names
The College of Santa Fe
St. Michael's College
Type For-profit
Established 2009
President Maria Puziferro[1]
Undergraduates 950[1]
Location Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Campus Urban
Affiliations Laureate International Universities. Historical ties to the Lasallian Brothers[2]

Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) is a for-profit, accredited four-year university located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The university built from the College of Santa Fe which was a Catholic facility founded as St. Michael's College in 1859, and renamed The College of Santa Fe in 1966. After financial difficulties in 2009, the campus was purchased by the City of Santa Fe, the State of New Mexico, and Laureate Education, and reopened with a narrowed focus on the film, theater, and other arts. The school is currently secular, and as of 2017, reports having 950 students.[1] According to the U.S. Department of Education, as of 2017 the overall graduation rate is 22%.[3] The university is scheduled to close in May 2018.[4]


Opened by the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1859, the school (then known as St. Michael's College) received a charter for higher education in 1874 making it the oldest chartered college in New Mexico.[5] In 1966, the Christian Brothers changed the name of the school to the College of Santa Fe.[5]

In February 2009, the College of Santa Fe declared a state of financial emergency.[6] Attempts to merge with Highlands University faltered due to funding concerns, and the school nearly closed.[7] In September 2009, a public-private partnership that included the City of Santa Fe, the New Mexico State Governor's Office and Laureate Education (a for-profit corporation) purchased the campus, reopening the school as The College of Santa Fe, albeit under different leadership.[8][9][10]

The name changed to Santa Fe University of Art and Design on August 30, 2010 after the school decided to narrow its focus on art and design.[11][12] There is no longer an affiliation with the Lasallian Brothers or the alumni of College of Santa Fe.

On May 18, 2016 the school announced that it would be acquired by Raffles Education, a Singapore-based private company.[13] However, the deal fell through, leaving ownership of the school with Laureate Education. [14] Citing "significant ongoing financial challenges," the university will close after the 2017-2018 school year.[15]


Campus with Fogelson Library Center

The Santa Fe University of Art and Design is housed on 60-acres.[16] Approximately 70% of its student body lives in college-owned housing.[17]


The university is the location of the Greer Garson Theatre Center, which includes the Weckesser Studio Theatre, a black-box performance space, a dance studio, the Claire Stewart Williamson Acting Lab, practice rooms and costume shops.[18][19][citation needed]

Visual Arts Center designed by Ricardo Legorreta

The Visual Arts Center houses the art and photography departments. The facility is a series of interconnected buildings designed by Ricardo Legorreta.[20][21][22]

Garson Studios is a 27,000-square-foot motion picture soundstage facility connected to the university’s Film School.[23] It has the largest permanent green screen in the state of New Mexico.[24] The facility was founded in 1989 by actress and College of Santa Fe patron Greer Garson. According to the school, Garson Studios has been the filming location of over 30 films, which collectively have been nominated for 20 Academy Awards, with 5 wins.[25][26][27] Students from all programs are eligible to intern on films produced at Garson Studios.[28]

The Screen is a cinematheque with seating for 165. It screens international, artistic, and independent films, and also streams performances of operas, ballets, and plays via satellite. The theater is open to the public.


Santa Fe University of Art and Design is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.[29]

The college offers degrees in arts management, contemporary music, creative writing, digital arts, film, graphic design, performing arts, photography, and studio art.

In 2012 the school began collaborating with actor Robert Redford to offer a full-ride Unique Voice scholarship for indigenous people, as well as several Emerging Artist Scholarships.[30][31][32][33]

Notable alumni[edit]

St. Michael's College[edit]

College of Santa Fe[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Matt Donovan, Chair, Creative Writing and Literature. Recipient of the 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award.[44]
  • Chris Eyre, Chair, The Film School. Recipient of Peabody and Emmy awards for his work as a filmmaker.[45][46]
  • Jon Jory, President's Chair, Performing Arts Department. Member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame; recipient of the National Theatre Conference Award and the American Theatre Association's Distinguished Career Award.[citation needed]
  • Anne Valente, Creative Writing and Literature. Recipient of the 2011 Dzanc Books Short Story Prize
  • Horace Alexander Young, Chair, Contemporary Music Program. saxophonist and flute player


  1. ^ Source says Lujan graduated from the College of Santa Fe in 1950, which at that time was known as St. Michael's College


  1. ^ a b "Santa Fe University of Art and Design". Peterson's. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Sharpe, Tom (13 December 2009). "For Christian Brothers, it's the end of an era at College of Santa Fe". New Mexican. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "College Scorecard - Santa Fe University of Art and Design". U.S. Department of Education. 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Official Statement - Santa Fe University of Art and Design" (PDF). Santa Fe University of Art and Design. 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Colleges and Universities, City of Santa Fe Economic Development
  6. ^ "College of Santa Fe Declares Financial Emergency - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education". 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  7. ^ "College of Santa Fe Says It Will Close - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education". 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  8. ^ Hay, Kiera (26 November 2012). "College of Santa Fe Deferred Maintenance Fund Depleted". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  9. ^ College of Santa Fe Saved by City Deal With Laureate Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2009
  10. ^ An update/correction on the College of Santa Fe, Changing Higher Education, Feb 10, 2010
  11. ^ O'Donnell, Bill. "History of the College of Santa Fe - Featuring Christian Brother Luke Roney, FSC, Ph.d". Documentary, Interview. Santa Fe Institute for Spirituality TV. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Richardson to welcome CSF students, Associated Press, Sept. 21, 2009
  13. ^ "Agreement with Raffles Education Corporation Limited to Become Part of its Global Network Announced (press release)". Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  14. ^ "SFUAD students shocked at news of school closure". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  15. ^ Santa Fe University of Art and Design (2017). "Transfer/Teach Out Information". Retrieved April 16, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Santa Fe University of Art and Design". US News & World Report. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Santa Fe University of Art and Design". Peterson's. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Greer Garson Theatre : Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  19. ^ "Greer Garson Theater Center in Santa Fe - Review of Greer Garson Theater Center and Other Santa Fe Bars, Clubs and Music Venues | Frommer's". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  20. ^ Villela, Khristaan. "Ricardo Legorreta". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  21. ^ "‘Ricardo Legorreta and Santa Fe’ Tribute Event". ArchDaily. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  22. ^ ""Ricardo Legorreta and Santa Fe" Weekend". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  23. ^ "Film & TV - Garson Studios". Garson Studios. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  24. ^ Bunish, Christine (September 3, 2013). "Studios and Soundstages". Markee Magazine. 
  25. ^ "New A&E TV Series Filmed at SFUAD’s Garson Studios - Santa Fe - Live, Work, Play, Stay". Santa Fe. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  26. ^ "Garson Studios". Garson Studios. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  27. ^ "Garson Studios lands ‘2 Guns’ production work - Albuquerque Business First". 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  28. ^ Students in All Departments Are Now Eligible to Intern on Film Productions, Press release, February 15, 2011
  29. ^ "The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association". Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Robert Redford sponsors Santa Fe U. scholarships". Variety. 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  31. ^ "Robert Redford Launches Scholarship Program with Santa Fe University of Art and Design - BWWVisual ArtsWorld". 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  32. ^ "Robert Redford teams up with Santa Fe school on scholarships". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  33. ^ Lehman, Daniel (2012-12-05). "Robert Redford Supporting New N.M. Scholarships". Backstage. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  34. ^ "LARRAZOLO, Octaviano Ambrosio, (1859 - 1930)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Government. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  35. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. "LUJÁN, Manuel, Jr., (1928 - )". Government online publication. U.S. Congress. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  36. ^ "Q&A with Soul Food's Rockmond Dunbar". City Alert. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Full Biography". Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Relativity's Joe Matukewicz Moves to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions". TheWrap. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  39. ^ "Alissa Moreno". IAC Music. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Roxy Paine". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  41. ^ Pfeifle, Sam (December 2, 2005). "Catching up with the original voice of Aeon Flux". Portland Phoenix. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  42. ^ Rodella
  43. ^ Eggler, Bruce (18 August 2007). "Oliver Thomas remains more than a crook, many say". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  44. ^ "MATT DONOVAN". Whiting Foundation. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  45. ^ "The Work is the Reward: Chris Eyre on Hide Away". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Episode 2: Tecumseh's Vision". PBS. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°39′25″N 105°58′37″W / 35.657°N 105.977°W / 35.657; -105.977