Parsons Society

What is the Frank Alvah Parsons Society?

The Frank Alvah Parsons Society is a group of donors committed to enhancing the quality of the Parsons experience. In 1910, Frank Alvah Parsons became the director of what was then known as The New York School of Fine and Applied Arts, which described itself as a school "…where individuality and originality of thought and expression are developed along thoroughly artistic and practical lines; where students are taught to think and to do."

Parsons still embodies these noble ambitions, and Parsons society members hold a place of high honor in the life of the institution. Through yearly gifts of $1,000 or more to the Parsons Annual Fund, members provide increased opportunities for today's design students, enhancing the reputation of the school and ensuring the continued success of our graduates in the professional world.

What does it mean to give to the Parsons Annual Fund?

Annual Fund gifts are unrestricted, meaning they can be used immediately to support Parsons' highest priorities—enhancement of facilities, development of new academic programs, and support for individual growth. These current-use funds make a remarkable impact; they have contributed to:

  • 'Smart' classrooms
    With superior technology and cutting-edge presentation media, the classroom of the future is on campus today, allowing students and teachers to share complex and creative ideas with the entire class in real time.
  • PM (Parsons Magazine)
    Parsons students were inspired to create a student-run, volunteer magazine to share their ideas with the New School community. With the help of Art and Design Studies Professor Susan Yelavich, students turned that creative spark into a new publication.
  • Full-time faculty recruitment
    Parsons continues to hire new faculty members, expanding full-time, on-site academic planning expertise, and each department's capacity to advise and encourage individual students.

What are the benefits of membership?

  • Opportunities to attend private events and meet with key faculty and administrators
  • Special seating at Parsons events honoring renowned design professionals
  • A subscription to, and recognition in, RE:D, Parsons' alumni magazine
  • Leadership recognition in the New School Annual Report

How do I get involved?

To learn more about becoming a member of the Parsons Society, please contact us at or 212.229.5662 x4221.

Connect with the New School