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Harley Jessup (copy)

Oscar-winning production designer Harley Jessup, an Oregon State University alumnus, will deliver the keynote speech at OSU commencement on Saturday.

Football season is still a few months away, but Reser Stadium will be about half full on Saturday for another event that always draws a big crowd in Corvallis: graduation day at Oregon State University.

An estimated 23,000 people are expected to file into the arena to watch friends and loved ones pick up their sheepskins at OSU’s 149th annual commencement ceremony.

A record 7,128 students will earn degrees this year, topping the 7,000 mark for the first time. That will push the university’s total number of graduates to more than a quarter-million — 250,516, to be precise — since its inception as State Agricultural College in 1868.

There is no charge to attend the ceremony, which is open to the public. The gates will open at 9 a.m., with the procession of graduates entering the stadium about 10:30.

Free parking will be available at various campus lots. Click on the link with the online version of this story for more details.

OSU alumnus Harley Jessup, an Oscar- and Emmy-winning visual effects designer, will give the commencement address.

The Corvallis native graduated in 1976 with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and went on to earn a master’s degree in graphic design from Stanford University.

He begin his film and television career as an animator, creating segments for “Sesame Street,” among other projects. He joined Lucasfilm as an art director on live-action movies, then went to work at Industrial Light and Magic, where he became creative director of the art department.

Jessup won an Emmy Award for special visual effects in 1985 for “The Ewok Adventure” and an Academy Award for visual effects in 1988 for his work on “Innerspace.” He was nominated for another Academy Award for visual effects on “Hook.”

Now working for Pixar Animation Studios, Jessup served as production designer for “Coco,” which won the 2018 Oscar for best animated feature film.

Jessup, who has written and illustrated three children’s books, also worked on such notable films as “The Hunt for Red October,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ratatouille” and “James and the Giant Peach.”

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Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.