University announces final two honorary degree recipients for 2013

Op art pioneer Julian Stanczak and international law expert Christine Van Den Wyngaert will receive honorary degrees next month during Case Western Reserve’s commencement ceremonies.

The two join business leader and philanthropist Peter B. Lewis and renowned architect Frank O. Gehry—announced Monday—as the university’s 2013 honorees.

“As with our other two honorary degree recipients,” President Barbara R. Snyder said, “we are proud to recognize the pioneering work and impact of Julian Stanczak and Christine Van Den Wyngaert.”

Julian Stanczak, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Julian StanczakCleveland artist Julian Stanczak is a pioneer and major figure in optical art, an abstract art movement that started in the 1960s and deals with the observation of visual behavioristics.

A native of Poland, he was forced into a Siberian labor camp at the beginning of World War II. While there, he lost the use of his right arm, before escaping at age 13. He took his first private art lessons in a Polish refugee camp in Uganda. In 1950, Stanczak moved to the U.S., where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University.

Stanczak began his 38-year teaching career in 1957 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati. In 1964, he became a professor of painting at Cleveland Institute of Art and held that position until his retirement in 1995.

Stanczak’s carefully planned perceptual art is widely celebrated. His work is in more than 85 museums and more than 100 public collections. Stanczak has been awarded the Cleveland Fine Arts Prize for Visual Arts from the Cleveland Foundation for the Arts, the Award for Excellence in Painting from the Ohio Arts Council, the Outstanding Educator Award from the Educators of America and the Medal of Excellence and the Viktor Schreckengost Award for Excellence in Education from the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Christine Van Den Wyngaert, Honorary Doctor of Laws

Christine van den WyngaertChristine Van Den Wyngaert is a renowned academic and international court judge.

She served on the International Court of Justice as an ad hoc judge in the Arrest Warrant Case from 2000 to 2002 and on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from 2003 to 2009. She currently serves as a judge at the International Criminal Court.

She taught criminal law, criminal procedure, comparative criminal law and international criminal law at the University of Antwerp from 1985-2005 and has authored numerous publications in these fields. She holds honorary degrees from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and the Free University of Brussels.

She has made human rights a focal point in her teaching and writing throughout her career, and was awarded the Prize of the Human Rights League in 2006. In 2013, the Parliament of Flanders (Belgium) awarded her a golden medal for her merits as an international judge.

The university awards honorary degrees each year to recognize excellence in human endeavor, including scholarship, public service and the performing arts.

Yesterday, The Daily profiled other honorary degree recipients Lewis and Gehry. For more information, see the related links below.