Patricia Hennings, founder of the Fresno State Interior Design program, dies at 78

Patricia Lucile Hennings

Patricia (Pat) Lucile Hennings, Fresno State professor emerita and founder of the Interior Design Program, passed away in Fresno on Nov. 1, 2019, after battling multiple myeloma cancer. She was 78 years old.

“I am saddened by the loss of Pat, my friend. I will always remember Pat for her remarkable wisdom, creativity, concern for student welfare and mentorship. Her commendable passion for the Interior Design program was compelling and it was felt by everyone around her,” said Silvana Polgar, Interior Design Assistant Professor.

Hennings was born on Nov. 3, 1940, in Elizabeth, New Jersey and grew up in San Diego, California. After graduating from Point Loma High School, she went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from U.C. Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in Interior Design from the University of Wyoming.

In 1970, Hennings joined the Fresno State Department of Art and Design and founded the Interior Design Program. From 1996 to 1998, she served as chair of the department. In the spring of 2000, she was recognized with the University Artists Award. Hennings was awarded emeritus status in 2008.

In addition to her work at Fresno State Hennings operated “Interior Arts, Inc,” a small business that specialized in healthcare and residential interior design with an emphasis on universal design application for aging in place.

Hennings is survived by her daughter, Honoree Huffman, Fresno.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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