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OCAC Confers Honorary Degrees on Howard Hedinger, Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer

May 16, 2017

At the 2017 commencement ceremony on Saturday, March 13, Oregon College of Art and Craft had the privilege of awarding honorary degrees to three important philanthropists who have supported and shaped OCAC through the years. Howard Hedinger, Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer are among the most important and valued members of OCAC community throughout its 110-year history, and we were pleased to confer upon them the degree of Doctor of the Arts, Honoris Causa.

Howard Hedinger
Howard H. Hedinger has been the President and Chairman of American Industries, Inc., which has interests in real estate and other investments. Since 1959, Mr. Hedinger has served as executive officer, director, and Board member of American Steel, LLC, a West Coast steel service center chain based in Portland, Oregon, and a subsidiary of American Industries. An active member of the Portland community, Mr. Hedinger generously supports many non-profits in the greater metro area, including OCAC’s art program at St. Mary’s School for Boys.

Arlene Schnitzer
Arlene Schnitzer, arts patron and philanthropist, was the founder and director of the Fountain Gallery, Portland’s first professional gallery and venue for the promotion of artists in the Pacific Northwest. With her husband, the late Harold Schnitzer, Mrs. Schnitzer has provided major support to cultural, educational and health institutions, such as the Portland Art Museum, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Mrs. Schnitzer is a former member of the OCAC Board of Trustees, having served at a critical point in the history of the college that continues to define the OCAC of today.

Jordan D. Schnitzer
Jordan D. Schnitzer is President of Harsch Investment Properties, founded by his father, Harold Schnitzer. Harsch has grown to include over 24 million square feet of office, retail, multi-family and industrial space in six western states. As President of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and Director of the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, he is an avid philanthropist and a strong advocate for arts education as exemplified in the Jordan Schnitzer Family Art Adventures program at OCAC – his namesake. An astute print collector, he has amassed the largest private print collection in the country and makes the collection available for exhibitions in museums across the country.

For his significant and forward-thinking contributions to higher education, an honorary degree was also bestowed on Commencement Speaker William Deresiewicz.

William Deresiewicz
An award-winning author, essayist and critic, William Deresiewicz is the best-selling author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (Free Press, 2014) and A Jane Austen Education, How Six Novels Taught me About Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter (Penguin Press, 2011). A Contributing Writer for The Nation and a Contributing Editor for The American Scholar and The New Republic, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The London Review of Books.

The OCAC community would like to thank the degree recipients for their long-standing and generous support of OCAC and the arts.

L-R: Kristin Valente, Jordan Schnitzer, Howard Hedinger, Bill Deresiewicz and Denise Mullen. Photo by Oliver Jaskowski.