The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837, and the history of the University's schools and colleges. This project is part of a larger effort to prepare resources for the University's bicentennial in 2017. Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Donald B. Kersten
Regent's Proceedings 327

Donald B. Kersten, professor of art, will retire from active faculty status on
June 30, 1994, after a productive career as an artist, designer, and teacher.

Professor Kersten received his B.F.A. degree in 1956 and his M.A degree in
1961, both from Wayne State University. From 1961-64, he worked as an
exhibit designer and an interior and graphic designer for such firms as Ford
& Earl Associates, Sundberg-Ferar Inc., and General Motors. Professor
Kersten joined the faculty of the former College of Architecture and Design
at the University of Michigan as an instructor in 1964 to teach basic design,
watercolor, and visualization. He was promoted to assistant professor in
1966, associate professor in 1971, and professor in 1976. Since 1974, he has
taught drawing, basic design, painting, visualization, graphic design, and
aqueous media in the School of Art. He was highly successful in influencing
students, due to his dedication to teaching and his rapport with students.

The recipient of two Rackham Research Grants (1973-75 and 1980-83),
Professor Kersten's research was directed at advertising in the environment.
The first grant, "Signs at the Marketplace," culminated in an exhibit dealing
primarily with on-premise advertising. The second grant, "Ad Sites as
Planned Elements in the Environment," focused on urban and highway offpremise
advertising and generated a proposal for more effective and visually
pleasing outdoor advertising.

Professor Kersten's professional activities include architectural delineation,
illustration, product design, and identity programs for Detroit and Ann Arbor
firms; chancel design and furnishings for Ann Arbor churches; and
collaboration on signage programs for Detroit hospital centers. Most
recently, he was curator for "One Man's Vision - The Robert L. Sutton
Commemorative Exhibit" in the Slusser Gallery of the University of
Michigan School of Art. Professor Kersten is also an accomplished and
award-winning watercolor artist who has exhibited locally and nationally.
The Regents now acknowledge the contributions of this distinguished and
dedicated artist, designer, and teacher by n