CORVALLIS, Ore. – Harley Jessup, an Oregon State University alumnus and renowned animation production designer who has won an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for visual effects, will deliver the commencement address at OSU’s 149th graduation ceremony.

The 2018 commencement will be held on Saturday, June 16, at Reser Stadium beginning at 10:30 a.m. More information on the event is available at:

Jessup also will receive an honorary doctorate from the university.

“We’re thrilled to have Harley Jessup return to Oregon State University, where he and many members of his family graduated,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “He exemplifies the importance of arts and sciences at a research university and I know that our graduates – who have grown up with his creative characters and stories – will be inspired by his messages.”

Ray said that Jessup’s commencement address comes at a special time at OSU.

“As we celebrate OSU150 – the university’s 150th anniversary – Oregon State is advancing its role as a 21st-century land grant university that is dedicated to excellence in the arts and the sciences,” Ray said. “For example, we will construct a $60 million arts and education center that will feature music and performance arts, as well as programming in digital arts and communications that Harley Jessup has excelled in.”

Jessup was born in Corvallis in 1954 and his family relocated to California shortly after. He returned to enroll at Oregon State and earned a bachelor of fine art degree in graphic design in 1976, and later a master’s degree in graphic design from Stanford University.

He began his career in animation, working at Korty Films on various projects, including segments for “Sesame Street.” Jessup then joined Lucasfilm to work as 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.”

Jessup was also nominated for another Academy Award in visual effects for his work on “Hook” and received an Emmy Award for special visual effects in 1985 for “The Ewok Adventure.”

Now with Pixar Animation Studios, Jessup served as production designer for “Coco,” which has been nominated for an Academy Award this year in the category of Best Animated Feature Film. Some of his other film credits include “The Hunt for Red October,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ratatouille” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

Jessup also has written and illustrated three children’s books.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 31,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.


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Mark Floyd, 541-737-0788,


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808,