Case Study: Samueli Academy Building Opening

samueli building opening


Creating the Vision

From the groundbreaking, to the beam signing, to the naming and opening of Samueli Academy, the goal was to invite community members to embrace and understand how important and special this building and campus is to our community, it’s supporters & visionaries and those it serves.

Samueli Academy provides a transformational learning environment and offers educationally under-served communities a new choice for the high school education for the teens in their community.  Future expansion of the campus will include on-site housing for those students who need a stable living environment in order for them to excel academically.

Key Points from the Event:

  • It was a unique challenge to create an area where over 200 guests would have a prime location to see the unveiling, the solution was to build a viewing deck.
  • To achieve a carefully orchestrated naming reveal, the secrecy of the benefactor’s name had to be protected.  This was maintained by creating a drape to cover the new sign at the top of the building, during the program as music came to a crescendo, the name was revealed in perfect timing.  This was a highlight especially considering the windy weather conditions that day and the ultimate vision of creating a unique unveiling.
  • For the first time, guests were invited into the building to tour and interact with the teachers and in the classrooms to see how project based, or work based, learning works.
  • As guests entered the building, they saw a building that had classrooms, but for the evening was transformed into a place to celebrate, with a lounge on the 2nd floor and “themed” food stations such as Salad Wall that was built on a chalk board that not only allowed the attendees to create their own salad, but understand what each item was.

Samueli Academy was officially opened and the school was an elegant backdrop for a very unique event and is a bustling center for learning that promotes a unique educational opportunity promoting future college and career excellence.


The Client Says:

“The Academy has been a long term dream that is now a reality.  Our Building Opening event was a special moment in time for us, and we were grateful to have Sunday Sol Events as a responsive and capable partner.  Sunday Sol Events was fantastic at implementing our vision because they took the time to listen and be creative in order to make it an unforgettable event.  We can always count on Michelle and her team to go above and beyond and to reliably do what they say they will do and more.”

 – Pam Shambra

Michelle Says:

“This project has been a culmination of so many years of work, it was important to honor the many contributors of time and money, while also celebrating a unique and special place.  Creating an experience for guests that aligned with the initial vision was both challenging, and ultimately so rewarding.  The campus is an active construction site, so with that comes unanticipated daily changes and areas that are unusable.  We built a viewing deck in order to give guests a prime location to watch the unveiling of the building name and once inside, created a multi-level party that took guests along a culinary adventure as well as into classrooms to see what project based learning is all about.  This was a wonderful event to bring the community into this special project and for the legacy of Samueli Academy.”