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LOS ANGELES – (April 30, 2009) – Mark G. Parker, president and chief executive officer, Nike Inc. will attend Otis College of Art and Design’s 2009 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9 in Los Angeles. Parker will give the Commencement address and will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Otis College, LA’s first art institute, established in 1918.
“Nike’s long-time support of Otis College, and Mark’s on-going advocacy of young art and design talent, make him the perfect choice to inspire our graduates and their families on this important occasion,” said Samuel Hoi, president of Otis College of Art and Design. “I speak on behalf of the entire Otis College community when I say that Mark Parker - an artist, designer and collector in his own right - truly honors us with his presence at Commencement this year. He shares our conviction that art and design matters socially, culturally and economically.”
Mark Parker has 30 years of extensive Nike experience, across a broad range of leadership roles, from product design and development, to marketing and brand management. Joining the company in 1979 as a designer, Parker has been involved in many of the company's most significant product breakthroughs. He is widely recognized as the product visionary for the Nike Air franchise, as well as many other industry-leading product design and performance innovations. Prior to leading the Nike brand during a period of strong growth and financial performance, Parker successfully ran the company's multibillion-dollar footwear and apparel businesses.
As a designer and CEO, Parker drives innovation and growth across Nike Inc.'s global business portfolio, which includes Converse, Cole Haan, Hurley International and UMBRO. Parker also is focused on continuing to develop leadership talent in the company to support Nike's long-term growth.
Mark G. Parker is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He enjoys traveling, being active with his family in an array of non-competitive sports including running, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and sailing. He also continues his passion for sketching, drawing, painting and collecting art.
Previous Otis College Commencement speakers and/or honorary degree recipients include artists David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Beatrice Woods, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin and Bill Viola; architects Frank Gehry, Cliff May and John Lautner; designers Ray Eames, Saul Bass, and Jay Chiat; choreographer Bella Lewitzky, author/curator Richard Martin, costume designer Bob Mackie, actor Cheech Marin and singer/songwriter Graham Nash.
Otis College of Art and Design’s 2009 Commencement will be held Saturday, May 9, at 10 a.m. at the Elaine and Bram Goldsmith Campus, near LAX. Over 250 students from the College’s eleven undergraduate programs and three graduate programs will receive BFA and MFA degrees. This year marks the first time the College will award degrees in Graduate Public Practice.