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Mark Sponenburgh studied art and art history at Cranbrook Academy, Wayne University, the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris), and the University of London. He taught at the University of Oregon, the Royal College of Art (London), the National College of Arts (Pakistan), and at Oregon State University. As a sculptor, he is a wood and stone carver, often of animal forms, and also creates cast-bronze works that include Town and Gown on the Willamette campus. Sponenburgh and his late wife Janeth donated a major art collection to Willamette University in 1990, thereby helping to set the stage for the founding of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.