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.