$500,000 gift establishes the Matthias Kemeny Endowed Design Lecture Series
Author: Suzanne Gray, College of the Arts
Posted: October 1, 2018

Matthias Kemeny

Matthias Kemeny

The PSU School of Art + Design recently received a gift of $500,000 from the Matthias D. Kemeny Charitable Fund of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, to create an annual lecture series that will bring internationally celebrated design professionals to speak in Portland. 

The inaugural Kemeny Lecture will be held in April 2019 as part of Design Week Portland. The speaker will be announced in early 2019. “We are thrilled to bring in high-caliber design experts,” says Lis Charman, graphic design professor and director of the School of Art + Design. “This is an amazing opportunity for our students and for the design community at large to learn from some of the biggest names in design.” The lectures will be free and open to the public.

While the lecture series will be managed by the Graphic Design program—which is one of the top ten majors at PSU—it will feature speakers from a broad range of design fields, including interactive and web design, illustration, film, product design and industrial design. During their visits, the speakers will also work directly with PSU graphic design students, conducting workshops or portfolio reviews.

Matthias Kemeny ‘73 was a PSU alumnus and artist who built a successful business designing exhibits and displays for museums. A world traveler, he was known for his genuine interest in others and his friendships with people around the globe. The fund at Oregon Jewish Community Foundation was created in 2017 with funds from the charitable trust that Kemeny established prior to his death from ALS in 2007.

“Matthias Kemeny was clearly a talented artist and designer who cared about making the world a better place,” says Leroy Bynum Jr., dean of the College of the Arts. “We hope that through this lecture series, Portland designers will be inspired to carry on his legacy of intellectual curiosity and creative problem-solving.” 

To make a gift or discuss options for supporting PSU art students and programs, contact: 

Jaymee Jacoby, Senior Director of Development, College of the Arts

503-725-3396 |

Make a gift online