Orville M. Winsand

Orville M. Winsand, esteemed fellow and life member of NASAD, passed away in his sleep on February 1, 2020. He was ninety-eight years old. Winsand was born in Wisconsin, and educated through the doctorate in the art department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. During this period, he received specialized training in engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He had a career-long relationship with Carnegie-Mellon University where he rose to the rank of professor. He served as head of the art department there from 1972 to 1988.

Fortunately for NASAD, Orville found the work of the association compatible with his ideas about developing excellence and with his own operational style that blended the creativity of an artist, the meticulousness of an engineer, the gracious fairness of a fine gentleman, and the energy of a positive welcoming spirit. Over the decades, he became legendary as an NASAD visitor: he participated in and usually led accreditation visits and consultancies to 112 institutions, a record not likely to be matched. He held several offices, including member and Chair of the Commission on Accreditation.

Orville’s heritage included relationships to Norway’s famous artistic Bergslien brothers (Brynjulf, Knud and Nils). He was an artist, a sculptor first of all. His sunny disposition and thoughtful dealings blended to support the work of his colleagues in any and all aspects the visual arts. Many NASAD evaluators counted him as their first mentor, and lauded him for his wisdom, always delivered with an invitation to camaraderie that somehow expanded visions of what was possible, well beyond the work of the Association. He supported thoughtful, well-planned experimentation and innovation. He saw possibilities in the technological advancements of his time. And, wherever he was, he brought the gift of his own sheer pleasure to work in and for all the visual disciplines. His skills and traits served institutions of all sizes and types, at all stages of development, in all sorts of conditions. His NASAD work had and continues to have a lasting effect on the education of thousands of students.

For these and many other reasons, NASAD showered Orville Winsand with all the honors it had to bestow; but now, in the moment of his passing, none of that seems quite enough, none of it is a substitute for poignant memories of his countenance, radiant with joy and expectation, ready to help.