John L. Thomson established the fund to provide critically important need-based scholarships to talented students from Chicago.
Luis Mejico (BFA 2017) grew up in Chicago in a lower-middle-class family. As a student at Northside College Preparatory High School, he excelled in art and design, and aspired to study at SAIC. However, he knew going to SAIC would be a challenge for him and his family.
In the last four years, SAIC has seen a 330 percent increase in applications from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. For the 2015–16 academic year, 71 CPS students were admitted to SAIC, while only 26 enrolled. All were exceptional and eager students like Mejico, but they faced similar financial obstacles. To provide critically important need-based scholarships to talented students from Chicago, SAIC Board of Governor member John L. Thomson generously established the Walter and Shirley Chicago Scholarship Fund.
Massey Scholars are provided with the support they need to become visionary thinkers and makers. In addition to scholarship funding, SAIC ensures Massey Scholars succeed during the pivotal transition from high school to college and through their undergraduate academic career.
Today, Mejico is a Massey Scholar as well as a mentor to high school students through SAIC’s College Arts Access Program. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree and add to the legacy of homegrown SAIC innovators who are making Chicago proud with their Beautiful/Work.