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Graphic design professor dies

news senior writer

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:02





A pink sticky note hangs on the door outside Professor Alan Hashimoto’s office. In handwritten letters it reads, “Thank you for everything Alan.”

Associate graphic design professor Alan Hashimoto, 59, died in his office Monday morning. Hashimoto’s colleagues found him around 11 a.m. after he was late for a meeting.

The faculty called an ambulance and performed CPR on the professor, according to Denise Albiston, Caine College of the Arts marketing director. 

The ambulance took Hashimoto to Logan Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Albiston said a heart attack was likely the cause of Hashimoto’s death, though no official information has been released.

“Simply put, Alan Hashimoto was a force of nature,” said Laura Gelfand, department head of art and design. “His energy was boundless, as was his creativity. He touched so many lives in such positive ways. He will be terribly missed by everyone who was lucky enough to know him.”

Albiston said Hashimoto’s loss will be felt by many.

“Alan was really unique,” Albiston said. “Even though his discipline was graphic design, he was great with animation and film and 3D design. He was very progressive and very sophisticated in his designs. He offered a very broad range of understanding of artistic expression.”

Hashimoto had been a faculty member of the USU art department for almost 25 years and was very well known by students in the department.

“Because he was interested in so many different things he worked with faculty, staff, administrators and students from across our campus and on many others as well,” Gelfand said.

Albiston said students in the art department are very familiar with Hashimoto.

“You can easily go over there and walk the halls and everybody knows Alan,” Albiston said.

Savannah Jensen, an art major emphasizing in animation, said Hashimoto was always providing feedback for the students in the department.

“He was just really supportive,” Jensen said. “I don’t even think he knew my name, but he was always building me up.” 

Jensen said Hashimoto would always come into the lab where she was working and recommend internships and other opportunities. 

To some students, he was more than just a professor. 

“He was a mentor for me,” said Mateo Rueda, a graduate student who worked closely with Hashimoto. “He was a friend, and of course it’s very difficult to think of continuing working, missing his advice but also the emotional background.”

Those who knew him said Hashimoto was full of energy and interest in his students.

“He gave everything to his students,” said Jeneal Bartlett. “He put his students first all the time.” 

Bartlett, a drawing and print major, said Hashimoto always wanted his students to succeed. He cared about what happened to them after college as well. 

“It wasn’t just about the degree,” Bartlett said. “He wanted to get people jobs and he wanted to give them a future.”

Hashimoto produced numerous creative works and authored the book, “Fundamentals of Design: A Digital Approach,” which is in it’s third edition.

“He was just a well springing with information,” said art graduate student Chuck Landvatter. “He knew so much and he was always current and up to date on evolving social media.” 

Landvatter said Hashimoto was energetic, tenacious and was dedicated to his work.

“It wasn’t just a job,” Landvatter said. “I don’t think he needed to be a professor financially, he wanted to be a professor. He liked helping people with information and knowledge.” 

Landvatter said Hashimoto took on a lot of projects and was involved in a lot of things. He said the department will not be the same without him. 

“You can’t replace him. He’s irreplaceable,” Landvatter said. “I don’t know logistically how they’re going to cope with this loss.”

Craig Jessop, dean of the Caine College of the Arts, said it is a huge loss for the college as well as many personal individuals. 

“Alan was a man of boundless energy and enormous vision, and he will be sorely missed by all of us,” Jessop said. “Our hearts go out to his wife Amy and to the rest of Alan’s family.”

Rueda said although it was assertive and brutally honest, he always welcomed Hashimoto’s advice because it was experienced. 

“He told me once that he saw me a little bit reflected in him when he was a kid, which is kind of cool to hear,” Rueda said. “I will keep that in my heart right now. He’s someone to look upon, and right now I’m working on the idea that I hope he would like what I do.”



Twitter @tmerabradley

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