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Pixar founder Ed Catmull to give University of Utah commencement address

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 10 2012 3:40 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Lauded alumnus Ed Catmull will address the University of Utah's 2012 graduates this spring, the university announced Tuesday.

The president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios graduated with degrees in physics and computer science in addition to a Ph.D. from the U. He went on to produce "Toy Story," the first feature film made entirely with computer-generated animation.

“Ed’s pioneering mindset, technological expertise and reverence for interdisciplinary endeavors from art and science are the qualities that make the University of Utah the institution that it is today," said interim U. President A. Lorris Betz, in a press release. "I am excited that our students will hear from such a noteworthy example of the Utah spirit.”

Since producing “Toy Story,” Catmull’s Pixar has created dozens of short and feature-length animated films, such as “Finding Nemo,” sequels to “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” and the popular “Cars” and “Cars 2.”

Catmull worked at LucasFilm in the graphics division until it was acquired by Apple founder Steve Jobs in 1986 and became Pixar. He was named co-founder and chief technical officer of the company, and was awarded an Oscar in 2001 for "significant advancements to the field of motion picture rendering," according to the press release.

Molly Farmer Twitter: mollyfarmer

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