In January of 2013, Doug Hesseltine, graphic designer, fine artist and teacher, retired, following nearly 40 years of service to the School and the University.
Hesseltine began his academic career at UM with his 1970 BFA from the then School of Art & Architecture. He joined the School’s faculty in 1977, holding a joint appointment as assistant professor and director of design for what is now the Office of University Development. From 1978 to 1979, he was the de facto Director of Design for the whole of the University of Michigan. Hesseltine was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1979.
In addition to his academic role, Hesseltine maintained an active career as a designer. He co-founded Quorum Communications and later Hesseltine & Demason Design Inc., both firms focusing on the design and planning of communications and the development of Identity systems for health care and technology based organizations and companies. His client list included Herman Miller Inc., ACM Siggraph, Schlumberger Technologies, Libbey Glass, General Motors, Henry Ford Health System, University of Michigan Health System and numerous other units of the University of Michigan.
In 1985 Hesseltine left the University to pursue these professional commitments, but he also continued to teach at the School, sharing his many gifts with generations of artists and designers. Most recently he served as Lecturer III in the Stamps School.
Students have called him “my absolute favorite professor at A&D.” They praise him for his dedication. “He stayed after class on a weekly basis to help me with projects in OTHER classes than his” and his commitment to excellence. “He is very good at what he does and I learned the absolute most from him. He wants his students to succeed which makes him brutally honest.” “You have to earn your grade in this class. But if you actually care about graphic design, you would go to every class and put effort into your work.”
In addition to his talent as a teacher, Hesseltine’s fine art work — which often encompasses painting and collage — has been represented by several of Michigan’s premier galleries. His work is also included in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Art, the University of Michigan Medical Center and the Detroit Medical Center.
Hesseltine is the recipient of dozens of design awards and has been awarded exceptional achievement and grand awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He has juried many exhibitions and shows, most recently as a juror for the International Theater Poster Art exhibition in Canada. He has also been an external reviewer for the University of Wisconsin Graphic Design Program and panel chair for the Siggraph Conference session, Graphic Design in the Nineties: New Roles, Options, and Definitions.