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On Tuesday, July 26, the Atlanta College of Art Board of Directors announced that it had approved a proposal to recommend to the Board of Trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center that the Atlanta College of Art become part of the Savannah College of Art and Design beginning summer 2006. The Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees and SCAD Board of Trustees will meet to consider the recommendation.

While the Savannah College of Art and Design did not initiate this action, the college is honored by this vote of confidence received from the ACA Board, entrusting a venerable, 100-year-old institution into SCAD's stewardship, due to SCAD's excellent track record, exceptional resources and outstanding academic programs. Should this recommendation be further approved, SCAD will commit its best efforts to the success of this union.

SCAD and the Woodruff Arts Center are committed to preserving the strong legacy of the Atlanta College of Art in several meaningful ways, such as naming opportunities, the library collection and scholarships. Everyone is working to provide ACA faculty, students and staff with a variety of options from which to choose. Currently enrolled ACA students will be able to continue with their chosen ACA course of study and degree program or transfer into a SCAD program.

ACA scholarships will be honored and students may qualify for additional SCAD scholarships. Tuition will remain stable, with normal annual increases. ACA faculty and staff are expected to continue in their current positions as much as possible.

While both colleges have regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Schools, SCAD's professional Master of Architecture program also is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. ACA also holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Should the Woodruff and SCAD boards approve the recommendation to join the two colleges, SCAD would consider the possible benefits or disadvantages of pursuing NASAD accreditation.

The college is confident that students, faculty and staff of both institutions, as well as the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the entire Southeast will benefit. As the boards vote, more information will be available at

Bruce Chong

Dean of Communications, SCAD



I’ve read a lot of letters to the editor that have made me shake my head. However, Elizabeth Faris’ letter in the August 3 edition of Connect Savannah was without a doubt the biggest bunch of rubbish that I’ve ever read regardless of how you view the war in Iraq.

First, Ms. Faris’ asserts that Sgt. Benderman was persecuted “for being man enough to contest the injustices which are being perpetrated in Iraq.”

Not true. Sgt. Benderman was court-martialed for failing to do his duty according to the military code of conduct. Kevin Benderman got everything he deserved.

Second, (and it just gets worse) Ms. Faris laments “How can anyone sleep at night knowing that we invaded another country and are slaughtering its citizens?” Slaughtering its citizens? You’ve got to be kidding me. There is not a military force in this world that follows stricter rules of engagement than the U.S. military.

Next Ms. Faris asks “But what if there were more people like Sgt. Benderman?” Yes, what if. “If” being the pivotal word here. The fact is that most of the military support the war in Iraq. The other fact is that those soldiers who don’t support the war still support their units and their comrades-in-arms as the military code of conduct, both written and unwritten, demands.

This is the part that really made me laugh aloud. Ms. Faris writes, “Mrs. Benderman, I just want you know to know that I think your husband is a hero.” I would like Mrs. Benderman to know that I think her husband is a coward.

If I were Mrs. Benderman I would hang my head in shame at my husband’s cowardly, self-serving actions. The reality is that Mrs. Benderman is probably a coward also. That’s why she supported her husband’s actions instead of convincing him to do his duty as a soldier. The duty that he was being paid to do. The duty that was putting a roof over her head, food on her table and clothes on her back.

I’d like to thank Ms. Faris’ father for his service to our country during World War II. I’m sure there were times that he thought he might not survive the war and maybe he didn’t. Unfortunately for soldiers, they don’t get to pick and choose which presidents they will serve or which wars they will fight.

Kelly Newberry



I am writing to rebut the recent letter “In defense of Sgt. Benderman” by Elizabeth Arata Faris.

For the record I am a former US Army Ranger. I served in the Middle East during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and during the “Cold War Era” as well as operations in many countries around the world. Let’s just say that I have some first hand experience of what sort of things happen in the rest of the world that our way of life protects Ms. Faris from needing to endure.

Saddam Hussein has been compared to the likes of Hitler for a reason. Our “invasion” is intended to liberate the citizens of Iraq from the atrocities that they have suffered at this man’s hands. I have been there, you have not. It is quite convenient for you to sit back in your classroom watching CNN and drawing conclusions on a topic you are so ill informed on by the liberal media.

The “lie” you referred to is WMD. Let me propose this; the United Nations were to give me three months to hide the Statue of Liberty with unlimited resources, I can reasonably say that I can hide it during that time and no one could find it in whole. So where are the WMD? Syria. Same place most of the Iraqi air force is. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. There are many more details that support that theory. Those details will come to light soon enough.

Now to the meat and potatoes of this letter: Sgt. Benderman. Shoot him! Sergeant Benderman lost his nerve. Period. This is not some conscientious objector. He is a deserter and should be treated like one. He is like so many others that enlisted to enjoy the benefits of military life during peace time but can’t stand the heat now that it is put up or shut up time.

Enlistment is down in the active services and the Reserve and National Guard are decimated due to retirements and non-reenlistment. Is it because they don’t believe in war? No, it’s because they’re now paying the price for all the training and the G.I. Bill that is putting them or put them through college.

I have a business associate that is a pilot for the Army National Guard who whined about having to go to Afghanistan for 18 months. He thought because he owned a business and had a family that he should get special consideration. Simple fact is he was just scared of dying. He told that to my face.

My response was this “we live in America, there is no draft enacted, you enlisted by your own free will, deal with it”. Your tax dollars and mine paid for his $250,000 education and training. Not to mention his $20,000+ salary he collects each year now as a Captain for his “part-time” flying club/job and his $8 million aircraft. It is now time for a return on yours and my investment.

As for Iraq and the middle-east as a whole, they are in a word “nuts” and are a danger to you, me and our way of life. Saddam Hussein was head man on the totem pole and needed to go but won’t be the last to fall. Iraq is first in an attempt to establish balance to an unstable region. Sadly to say that Iraq and Afghanistan will not be the only countries in the region that we will invade before it is over with in my opinion.

And last I saw on CNN it is not our troops that are strapping bombs to themselves in the name of Allah and “slaughtering” Iraqi citizens, it seems to me that we are trying to protect them and help them build a democracy and a military for the people and not palaces for a dictator. It is fellow Muslims that are killing them NOT us.

America has NEVER waged a war on a people, only the government/leaders. There are casualties of war, wars much like the American Revolution which gives us both the right to exchange opposing views in this arena. So before you get back on your soap box and praise Mrs. Benderman for supporting her treasonous husband you need to wake up to some harsh reality. It is war in all that is ugly about it that gives you the freedoms you enjoy as an American citizen. And as a veteran of War it is a slap in my face, to be one of many to have risked his life to preserve your freedom to write the absolute filth that you have written about our president and our presence in the Middle East.

As long as our presence there helps to prevent another 911 we are well justified in our “invasion”. If you think our insertion into the region is unwarranted let me remind you of the only other foreign terrorist attack on American soil, Pearl Harbor. We haven’t heard much from Japan since Hiroshima and Nagasaki have we?

Eastern Europe not speaking German as an universal language is another great example of what comes from American “invasion” forces. The French, Russians, Poland, Italy and Great Britain and most of all the Jews thank us I am sure.

Ms. Faris, you continue to blurb your rhetoric and sit back in your air conditioned classroom and enjoy your freedoms as an America and bitch about our president with your left wing agenda all whilst you live in your liberal “love it all away” la la land and people with a spine like our troops in Iraq and all over the world keep your bubble from bursting.

I bet you even voted for Kerry.