Jon Anderson believed that “everyone’s (success) somewhere along the line is the result of a good teacher.” The influence of his mentors allowed him to create a portfolio that won him a scholarship to attend the Art Center in the early 1960s.
After graduating from the Art Center, he left Los Angeles, CA and traveled to Salt Lake City, UT. Jon knew he did not want to stay in SLC for long because it was not as creative during that time. He was asked to start the commercial art program at Utah State University.
Jon wanted to implement the environment of professionals mentoring students that he wished he had more of at the Arts Center. This desire caused Jon to pitch an idea to his students-they would pay to have artists fly in and stay for a short time to mentor students and give feedback on students’ work. Artists such as Bob Peaks and Kim Whitesides visited among others.
Jon spent his Fridays and weekends recruiting students to apply at Utah State from nearby states to increase the level of competition. Jon was known for selling the program that was becoming established at USU.
The caliber of the program flourished rapidly. Jon Anderson’s small but dramatic footsteps produced some of the best advertisers, illustrators, and graphic designers in the United States. His legacy, work ethic, and established artist seminars continue to inspire and influence students that attend the competitive Graphic Design program at USU.