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O. Vernon Shaffer

Class of 1950

Awarded in 1981

The striking examples of your talent that grace this campus and community, as well as the grounds and collections of varied institutions, individuals, civic centers, and businesses in cities near and far, belie the fact that you were never trained in sculpture and never had a formal course in the discipline. You cite two former College colleagues for the significant impact they made upon your career – Frank Boggs for providing a contagious artistic spell and Clark FitzGerald for helping you develop the tools necessary to be a successful sculptor. Working primarily in metal, you left teaching and the directorship of the Wright Art Center twenty years ago to become an independent artist who has fashioned both massive works and delicate pieces. Critics describe your work as moving…strong…sensitive…energetic; you view it as a language to express a feeling…make a comment…ask a question…effect a thought. Your creativity has earned you much recognition, including the Governor’s Award in Arts, State Fair First Award, Madison Public Library commission, and second award in the national fountain competition. Your alma mater proudly recognizes your artistic achievements by awarding you this Citation.