On June 2, 2023, Bob Weis, Gensler’s Practice Leader for Entertainment and Immersive Experiences (and former President of Walt Disney Imagineering), was presented with an honorary degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) during its 2023 commencement in Savannah.
Among Weis’ comments to graduating students was that he has “never seen the world more hungry for your ideas, your talent, and for new kinds of experiences.” He advised them to continue “challenging the norms of work, the norms of team dynamics, and the norms of life,” and to “be prepared to work hard, don’t ever leave the house without a big idea in your pocket, and don’t ever get in an elevator without a pitch.”
FULL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
Bob Weis is Gensler Practice Leader for Entertainment and Immersive Experiences. He leads a multidisciplinary team tasked with exploring, developing, and bringing to market ground-breaking ideas that enhance urban life, sustainability, and vibrancy.
Weis has decades of experience leading projects around the world. Prior to joining Gensler, Weis was President of Walt Disney Imagineering and was the company’s Global Ambassador. Before becoming president of Imagineering, Weis was overall creative executive for Shanghai Disney Resort, a seven square-kilometer park and resort development.
Prior to that, Weis completed a five-year transformation and expansion of Disney California Adventure Park. His previous projects include creative leadership over the original concept for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, conceptual design for Tokyo DisneySea, and work on the first international Disney theme park, Tokyo Disneyland.
He has worked across a wide slate of the entertainment business, creating attractions, developing museums, cruise ships, and resort hotels. He has also delivered award-winning projects for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the United States Navy.
Weis has been honored with multiple awards from the Themed Entertainment Association, along with awards for the development of Shanghai Disney Resort, The American Institute of Architects Technology in Architectural Practice Award, and the Buzz Price Lifetime Achievement Award.
Weis serves on the Walt Disney Family Museum’s Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), a diverse and multifaceted cultural and educational component of the Smithsonian Institution. He also supports the Herb Ryman Foundation, providing free art classes in drawing and painting with master teachers to Los Angeles area high school students.
Weis is currently writing a screenplay for Disney+ and two books for Disney Publishing. His feature film and documentary projects have been shown on Lifetime and American public television.
He holds a degree in architecture, and an Honorary Ph.D. from Cal Poly Pomona.