To: The OSU Community

From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

February 16, 2018


OSU community members,

President Ray and I are pleased to announce that renowned animator, production designer and OSU alumnus Harley Jessup will be our 2018 commencement speaker and honorary doctorate recipient. Jessup’s work at the intersection of graphic art, design and digital technology has entertained and inspired millions.

This year’s graduates grew up with many of Jessup’s characters through his work on Academy and Emmy award-winning films.

Jessup began his career in animation at Korty Films on various projects, including segments for “Sesame Street.” He then joined Lucasfilm as an art director on several live action films before moving to Industrial Light and Magic in 1986, eventually becoming the creative director for its art department. He received an Academy Award in 1988 for visual effects in the film, “Innerspace,” and was nominated for another Academy Award in visual effects for his work on “Hook.” He received an Emmy Award for special visual effects in 1985 for “The Ewok Adventure.” Some of his other film credits include “The Hunt for Red October,” “Ghostbusters II” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

With Pixar Animation Studios since 1996, Jessup contributed to “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2,” and was instrumental in developing the production designs for “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Ratatouille.” Most recently, he was production designer for “Coco,” which has been nominated for an Academy Award this year in the category of best Animated Feature Film. Jessup is also author and illustrator of three children’s books.

As you know, Oregon State plans to develop an arts and education center on our Corvallis campus that will feature – among other things – programming in digital arts and communications. With his bachelors of fine arts degree in graphic design from OSU in 1976, and stellar career in film and digital animation, Jessup serves as testimony to Oregon State’s past and future contributions to the arts, design and technology.

Our commencement ceremony coincides with the university’s 15-month celebration of OSU150 – Oregon State’s 150th anniversary. Jessup’s return to OSU clearly represents the legacy of transformation that OSU and its graduates have contributed to Oregon, the nation and the world.

We are honored that Harley Jessup will give our commencement address on Saturday, June 16, during Oregon State’s 2018 graduation ceremony.


Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President