Daniel Bosse (’03) and Jim Mousner (FS ’92), founders of the Graphic Alumni Partnership (GAP)
Galvanizing the Graphic Design Workforce
Daniel Bosse (’03) and Jim Mousner (FS ’92) graduated from the relatively small graphic design program at the University of Houston, a well-kept secret. Getting that secret out is their main priority. They are both business owners: Bosse founded Bayon Creative, while Mousner started the design group Origin. Both of their entrepreneurial spirits found their way into their mode of giving back. Bosse and Mousner started the Graphic Alumni Partnership (GAP) and began connecting the community of UH designers to each other, so more interactions could take place. There was a great need, they felt, to show the significance of work coming out of UH’s small but notable program. This intimate group of graduates, only about 24 a year, work in a studio setting with Houston as their laboratory. Many graduates go on to own their own businesses, publish their own magazines and work for the country’s top caliber design companies.
“We give back because of the passion we have for the program. We are proud of where we went to school. Both Jim and I have businesses because of this program.”
Daniel Bosse (’03)
Bosse currently serves as past president and treasurer of GAP. In Bosse’s words, “We give back because of the passion we have for the program. We are proud of where we went to school. Both Jim and I have businesses because of this program.” And through GAP, the designers’ sense of camaraderie is strong. Their website reminds recent graduates what it was like to incur the cost of their education, and states: “UH GAP was set up to make the current program stronger and less economically rigorous on the currently enrolled students in the graphic communication program. Through donations of time and money from alumni, we strive to make the lives of these students a little easier.” One way they accomplish this is by providing three undergraduate and three graduate level scholarships each year to deserving students.
Mousner, current strategic initiatives chair of GAP, believes that the culture of great design is important for Houston. Early on in his career, he struggled with the stereotype that one must go to New York or Los Angeles to advance in design. He ended up staying in Houston, and building a multi-million dollar company. He is of the opinion that designers are the front line in bringing about social change, and he strives for that in every aspect of his work. According to Mousner, graphic designers “infiltrate, galvanize and document” the changing cultural landscape.
The Main Event is GAP’s primary event for alumni where they give away scholarships, network and fundraise. This year, their keynote speaker was nationally renowned designer Kenneth Carbone and was held at the Sundance Theater in Downtown Houston on Thursday, October 29. Through their scholarship gifts, the Graphic Alumni Partnership will advance the academic careers of outstanding students and will continue to provide networking resources to those just recently graduated. For more information on the Graphic Alumni Partnership, please go to www.uhgap.org.