The performing arts have always made Sandi Saville’s heart race. The love affair began when Saville, a Cumberland native and graduate of Fort Hill High School, joined the school’s Ushers Committee, which gave her an opportunity to meet the visiting artists who performed there.
“The Vienna Boys Choir performed each year and some of the members stayed at our house,” Saville said. “From then on I was smitten with live performance.”
Her passion for the arts continued into college.
“I roomed with a ballet dancer at WVU who dragged me to Pittsburgh to wait in line at four in the morning to get tickets for Margot Fontaine and Rudolph Nureyev – I was totally hooked,” she said.
Saville eventually moved to Alaska, where she practiced law for 28 years and continued her arts advocacy by serving on the State Council for the Arts, including a few years as chair. Her creativity also led her to New York, where she studied at the International Center for Photography.
Today, Saville is interested in supporting the arts through higher education – both as an instructor and as a dedicated and generous advocate. She teaches “Legal Issues in the Arts” in Frostburg State University’s Department of Music and serves on the Board of Directors for the FSU Foundation, Inc. Saville is also a leadership donor to FSU’s Annual Fund and supporter of other campus initiatives, including the Friends of Music and the Center for Creative Writing.
Saville recently recognized an opportunity to combine her experience and knowledge of the arts and arts advocacy with her leadership in FSU’s fundraising efforts by creating the Sandra K. Saville Presidential Merit Scholarship for the Arts with a $25,000 commitment, part of the $34,000 she has generously given to Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg. The Sandra K. Saville Presidential Merit Scholarship for the Arts supports FSU students majoring in the performing or visual arts who have an overall grade point average of at least 3.5. It is the first scholarship created as part of the Presidential Merit Scholarships program, a fundraising effort led by FSU President Jonathan Gibralter and the FSU Foundation to secure $2.5 million in merit-based scholarships for high-academic achievers over the next five years.
“I’m pleased Sandi took the initiative to create this scholarship because it upholds FSU’s legacy of providing learning opportunities for the most deserving students. They will help the University raise the bar on its academic standards and reach new levels of excellence,” Gibralter said. “The Presidential Merit Scholarships will also help FSU’s best and brightest students go on to successful careers and continue adding to FSU’s strong foundation for the future.”
Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg is raising badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Gifts support student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment. For more information about supporting Presidential Merit Scholarships and FSU, visit foundation.frostburg.edu, or call 301-687-4161 or 1-866-241-3296, toll free.