Henry Becker ’15 is no stranger to a road-less-traveled. He's paved his own way since his teenage years, when he became the first in his family to graduate from high school. A loner without a financial cushion, Becker recalls living out of his car the last few months of his senior year.
After high school, he negotiated the turns in his career path via trial-by-fire, to ultimately become something of a renaissance man. He worked for a web design company, but did not feel challenged, so enlisted in the U.S. Army. For five years, Becker led a sniper team, then decided he did not want a military career, so left the service. He enrolled in East Stroudsburg University in northeast Pennsylvania to study graphic design. After completing his undergraduate studies, he felt he lacked the skills necessary to thrive as a designer, so applied to MICA's Graphic Design M.F.A. program.
"In the interview for MICA, I was told that my portfolio was ‘not the greatest,'" Becker said, laughing. The now-accomplished designer gets a kick out of his life's ironic twists, and beams appreciation for every chance at another go of it. "It was true. But, they said I was an interesting person, and had the ability to pull a diverse group of people together, charismatically."
By the end of his first year at MICA, Becker was winning awards, and building confidence. In 2015, he earned a Student Typeface Design Merit from Print magazine for his typeface design, Chromogenic. It was hard work, he says, rebuilding the foundation of what he thought design was, to understand what makes a good design, great.
"I graduated with a new family. MICA does their part to keep students connected, and more than that, to help them stay employed. They don't forget about their alumni," Becker said.
These days, you can catch this renaissance man at the University of Utah, where he is a professor of graphic design.