Commencement 2011 Speaker Mike Berenstain
EMU proudly invites Mike Berenstain to deliver the commencement address on May 1, 2011. Mike will speak on “Simple Gifts: Thoughts from Childhood.”
About Mike Berenstain
Mike Berenstain’s earliest memory is of his parent’s studio in suburban Philadelphia. He remembers sitting on the floor scribbling on yellow typewriter paper with a big black pencil. His mother looked at the tangled hairball he had created, pointed out some random shape and said, “Look! You’ve drawn a fish!” It did, indeed, look like a fish.
That was his first drawing lesson. He’s been drawing ever since.
Aside from drawing, Mike’s primary interests growing up were playing whiffle ball with his older brother Leo, collecting insects, stamps, coins, bottle caps, baseball cards, etc., building model planes, playing Davy Crockett in the backyard and fishing.
He was also interested in watching the creation of his parents’ magazine cartoons during the 50’s and finally, the birth of the first Berenstain Bears book in 1962.
Mike attended art school in Philadelphia in the early 70’s, then worked as a designer in the Children’s Book Department of a New York publisher before starting his career as an author and illustrator. His first children’s book was published in 1976 followed by some thirty more over the next sixteen years. These ranged in subject from wizards to dinosaurs.
Since the late 80’s, he has been very much involved as a writer and illustrator with his family’s creation, the Berenstain Bears.
Mike continues to work with his mother, Jan, creating new books, writing and illustrating. The antics and activities of Mike’s three children have provided inspiration for many Berenstain Bears books over the years.
Aside from the Bears, Mike is interested in many things in classical music, American history, astronomy and physics. He likes to ski and spends a lot of time with horses.
Mike’s son, Sam Berenstain, is currently an environmental sustainability major at EMU.