The art of a college education: Getting schooled at Academy of Art

In the past two decades, the Academy of Art has grown 10 times in size to nearly 20,000 students, the Huffington Post reports. And administrators are pushing for more: a recent school master plan projects a student population of nearly 25,000 within five years, roughly the same number of undergraduates who attend the University of California at Berkeley. It is the only arts school in the nation with both NCAA basketball and baseball teams. The university has opened recruiting offices in Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. It’s created a massive online division, aimed at beaming courses on classical sculpture and video game animation taught by teachers located as far away as Scotland to thousands of virtual students across the world. As the Academy of Art has expanded, so has the local prestige of its owner, Elisa Stephens. The 52-year-old lawyer has become a fixture in San Francisco high society, and is a regular attendee at fundraisers thrown by the city’s political and social elite. Her mansion sits atop Nob Hill, one of the city’s most exclusive zip codes…

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