Jeff Pike named first Hitzeman professor of art

Jeff Pike, dean of the College of Art and the Graduate School of Art, has been named the first Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman Jr. Professor of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, according to Carmon Colangelo, the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts and dean of the Sam Fox School.

Jeff Pike (right) greets Herbert F. Hitzeman Jr. at the installation ceremony. Jane Reuter Hitzeman is to her husband's left.
Jeff Pike (right) greets Herbert F. Hitzeman Jr. at the installation ceremony. Jane Reuter Hitzeman is to her husband’s left.

The professorship was made possible by a gift from Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman Jr., both of whom hold degrees in art from the University. A formal installation ceremony took place Feb. 27 in Whitaker Hall.

“I am delighted and honored that Jane and Herb Hitzeman have extended their generosity to include the gift of a professorship in the Sam Fox School,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “In many ways, their strong support and dedication to the University throughout the years have touched every person here. Their commitment to our teaching and research mission will have an impact for generations to come.

“This professorship is very special because it has been awarded to the dean of the College and Graduate School of Art, and I am very pleased that the inaugural holder is a person of such accomplished creativity and leadership,” he added.

“Jane and Herb Hitzeman have dedicated their lives to education,” Colangelo said. “They have aided and influenced generations of St. Louis students and educators, from kindergarten and elementary school all the way to the university level. Their love and dedication to the arts make it particularly appropriate to bestow this professorship on Jeff Pike, whose skills and accomplishments place him among our most distinguished faculty.”

Herb Hitzeman served as chief architect of the University’s advancement programs — including development, alumni relations and public relations — for 24 years. Under his leadership, the University raised more than $1 billion in gifts, tripled alumni participation and dramatically increased both national and international visibility.

Herb and Jane met as students in 1950 and married two years later. Herb earned a bachelor of fine arts in 1953 and began working in the merchandising department of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., winning a Sylvania Award for Showmanship in Advertising the following year. Jane taught kindergarten classes as well as art to grades 1-6 at a private school while completing her undergraduate degree.

In 1956, Herb joined the family contracting business but returned to campus in 1966 to staff the “Seventy by ‘Seventy” fundraising campaign. That same year, Jane joined the Parkway School District, teaching art in the elementary and secondary schools, and later was appointed art supervisor for the district. There, she developed innovative teaching methods utilizing the five basic elements of design — line, shape, color, texture and form — as the essential language for art instruction at all ages and levels of development.

In 1968, Herb was named director of the Seventy by ‘Seventy campaign, which reached its $70 million goal a year ahead of schedule. In 1969, he was promoted to associate vice chancellor and in 1973, launched a $120 million campaign that was completed two years ahead of schedule. In 1975, he became vice chancellor for University relations and spearheaded a variety of initiatives, establishing a network of alumni chapters, the Parents Council, the Commission on the Future of Washington University and the National Council advisory system. In 1983, he launched the Alliance for Washington University, which raised $630.5 million — then a record for a single American university campaign. He retired in 1990.

Jane earned a master of arts in education from the University in 1972 and began teaching in the Graduate Institute of Education. She also began conducting workshops and seminars for The Learning Center, the Parkway School District, the St. Louis Suburban Teachers Association, numerous parents groups and other organizations. In addition, she developed a K-3 curriculum for the Saint Louis Art Museum’s education department. She retired in 1985 and continues to create her own artwork, exploring the use of paper as a sculptural medium and producing two-dimensional designs for a variety of projects.

As fellows of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society, the Hitzemans remain active in University programs, sponsoring The Jane Reuter Hitzeman Scholarship in Art. The University dedicated the Herbert F. Hitzeman Jr. Residence Hall in Herb’s honor and in 2005, established the Herbert F. Hitzeman Jr. Leadership Award, given annually to a resident of the HIGE Residential College.

Jeff Pike

Pike earned a bachelor of fine arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and a master of fine arts in visual communication from Syracuse University in 1978. Before coming to the University in 1983, he founded the advertising program at Cazenovia College in New York and taught at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Mass., and the Philadelphia College of Art.

In 1984, Pike re-launched the University’s illustration program, which he continued to direct for the next decade. In 1993, he was appointed associate dean of art, responsible for the undergraduate program.

As dean of art since 1999, he has helped integrate digital media into all curriculum areas while leading a range of interdisciplinary initiatives, notably with architecture, business and engineering. Other initiatives include reorganizing the Graduate School of Art, establishing a new master of fine arts degree in studio art and creating tenure-track positions in the undergraduate core program, as well as supporting creation of the Visual Communications Research Studio, the Portfolio Plus high school summer program, the Modern Graphic History Library and a semester abroad studio in Florence, Italy.

As an illustrator, Pike has worked with major clients and advertising agencies, ranging from Anheuser-Busch; Ralston Purina Co.; and Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages to Monsanto Co.; D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles; and SSM Health Care-Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. His work has been recognized in Print, Art Direction, Creativity and Adweek magazines and won two ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation.

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

The Sam Fox School, which began classes in fall 2006, aspires to become a national model for the creation, study and exhibition of multidisciplinary and collaborative work. The five-building, $56.8 million complex includes two new buildings designed by world-renowned architect Fumihiko Maki.

The College of Art dates to 1879, making it the first professional, university-affiliated art school in the United States. In the 1940s, its broad-based core program helped set standards for what would become the bachelor of fine arts degree. In the past decade, design faculty have won numerous professional honors, while fine art faculty have been featured in more than 100 solo exhibitions and 300 group shows on five continents.