November 8, 2019
Artwork of Jagdish Chavda currently featured in the Burnett Honors College

Longtime former UCF faculty member Jagdish Chavda passed away on Monday, November 4, 2019. Chavda was the first tenured professor to teach in the graphic design program, at the time housed in the UCF Art Department. He taught for more than 20 years, preparing students to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing field of study before taking on administrative roles, including a two-year appointment as Chair for the Art Department and as a student advisor.

Chavda was born in India, raised in East Africa and was educated in England and the United States. He received his MFA from Michigan State University and was hired in 1972 to be a lecturer of the Art Department of FTU. He worked at UCF for 39 years before his retirement in the spring of 2011.

Chavda received many awards for his art and teaching. Some notable recognitions include Outstanding Educators of America in 1975, Excellence in Graphic Design by the Board Report for Graphic Artists in 1980, and recipient of the Professional Excellence Program (PEP) award in 1999. Chavda also received several awards for graphic design for his cover of the Manual & Identification Guide to the United States Regular Issues: 1847-1934.

Chavda’s work can be seen at a few outlets around UCF. His artwork is on display in the Burnett Honors College (see top left photograph.) He was noted in the 2013 edition of Pegasus. He created the 20th service anniversary gifts for faculty and staff, watercolor prints of the John C. Hitt Library. He also collaborated with sculptor David Cambia and wood craftsman David Conway to create the UCF mace. All three of their names and the details of the mace are recognized in each commencement ceremony program book during graduation.

A 2006 article featuring Chavda in the Orlando Sentinel said, “Graphic artist Jagdish Chavda is an archivist of a different sort. His watercolor architectural paintings render landmark buildings of his native India, capturing the shared architectural language of the region’s diverse religious traditions. Chavda’s personal story is more evidence of that history. Uprooted in 1948 after the partition of India and Pakistan, his family resettled in Tanzania. Chavda then immigrated to the U.S. in 1964.

“Architectural drawing is something of a lost art, and one hopes that Chavda’s graphic-design students at UCF still learn to use pencil and pen before they take up with computers.”

We remember Jagdish Chavda for paving the way for UCF’s graphic design program at the School of Visual Arts and Design. He was a part of the university for many years, and is a major part of SVAD’s history,

Jagdish Chavda is survived by his wife and his son.

The School of Arts and Design is holding a breakfast memorial in the Visual Arts Building, room 105, Wednesday, November 13 at 9:30 a.m. Continental breakfast and coffee will be served. Chavda’s close friend Pallavboor (Vaidy) Vaidyanthan will be attending and will share stories of Chavda and his many adventures. All are welcome to attend.


Formal Services:

Sunday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m.
DeGusipe Funeral Home & Crematory
9001 Orlando Ave, Maitland Fl, 32751

SVAD Memorial Breakfast:

Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 9:30 a.m.
Visual Arts Building, Room 105
SVAD Conference Room
Enter through Visual Arts Building, Room 117 (Administrative Suite)

Photos of Jagdish Chavda below with former colleagues and students:

Credit: GRA-PIX.” This photo was the back cover of a book called “Bajamar.” From the book, “this book was conceived by the Graphic Design class of 1978 at Florida Technological University, under the direction of assistant professor, Jagdish J. Chavda.” Additional info from the book: “Students in Professor Jagdish Chavda’s Graphic Design program recently spent several days in Nassau on their senior class trip. The commercial art students are currently planning the production of a limited number of books that relate the group’s impressions of the Bahamian capital, using slides and on the spot artwork.”

Photo Credit: GRA-PIX. This photo was the back cover of a book called “Bajamar.” From the book, “this book was conceived by the Graphic Design class of 1978 at Florida Technological University, under the direction of assistant professor, Jagdish J. Chavda.” Additional info from the book: “Students in Professor Jagdish Chavda’s Graphic Design program recently spent several days in Nassau on their senior class trip. The commercial art students are currently planning the production of a limited number of books that relate the group’s impressions of the Bahamian capital, using slides and on the spot artwork.”

“Courtesy of UCF Special Collection & University Archives.” Professor Gaudnek showing his artwork for a group of people including Professor Chavda.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of UCF Special Collection & University Archives.

“Courtesy of UCF Special Collection & University Archives.” Professor Chavda with Graphic Design Students for a Veterans Affairs project.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of UCF Special Collection & University Archives.

Chavda with group of Fulbright students

Photo Credit: Pallavboor (Vaidy) Vaidyanthan “Fulbright-Hayes Group Photo”