Message from the President
Since arriving at Pratt in 1993, I have had the good fortune of working with many dedicated people to position the Institute as one of the largest and most selective colleges of art, design, architecture, and library science in the world.
When I first took office, I articulated a vision for the institution that emphasized one dominant principle: quality. We set forth with an ambitious strategy and tackled numerous fronts at once—improving educational programs, increasing enrollment while maintaining selectivity, building relationships within the community surrounding Pratt, and renovating and improving our extraordinary 25-acre campus and its many landmark buildings.
Today, our academic programs and faculty are consistently ranked among the best in the nation and the achievements of our alumni attest to the unique Pratt learning and creative environment. In 2012, we celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Institute’s founding in 1887, which gave us an opportunity to highlight the iconic work by Pratt alumni and faculty and its tremendous impact on every facet of life. Pratt’s distinguished legacy sets the stage for an even greater future—for our students, our community, and the many segments of society that we touch.
In the last five years, Pratt’s leadership and innovation in critical areas have received national attention. In its annual guide to green colleges, The Princeton Review repeatedly lists the Institute among the country's most environmentally responsible colleges, noting that its "reputation as a prestigious art school makes it an obvious choice for students interested in green design, and its urban campus provides a unique challenge for putting green design into practice." The Institute was also highlighted as a catalyst for New York City’s economic growth in a major study by the Manhattan-based think tank the Center for an Urban Future, which emphasized the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation as a model for supporting aspiring entrepreneurs.
To guide Pratt’s future progress the Institute has completed a 2012-2017 Strategic Plan that was endorsed by the Board of Trustees in May 2012. The plan includes four overarching themes that will allow Pratt to build on its tremendous gains: Enriching the Academic Experience, Expanding Horizons, Creating Dynamic Environments, and Building Capacity. To accommodate future growth outlined in the Strategic Plan, Pratt has also completed a Campus Master Plan that calls for the expansion of the campus and enhancements to its facilities and grounds.
Pratt has already made significant improvements to the Brooklyn campus that are transforming art and design education. In particular, the opening of the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center brought all of the Institutes design disciplines under one roof to foster interdisciplinary collaboration. In 2011, Pratt opened Myrtle Hall, a green academic and administrative building that serves as home to the Institute’s Digital Arts Department and is also serving as a medium for change in the neighborhood. As a founding member, trustee, and chair of the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project, I am proud of the impact campus improvements have had on the area.
Looking back, I am delighted—and in no small measure amazed—at the incredible progress that we have made so far, but there is much left to do. Pratt still offers great potential for dreaming, planning, and making things happen.
Looking toward the future, I am excited by the opportunities Pratt students and faculty have to test the limits of their disciplines and talents as they work together to address the many challenges of the 21st century. I can think of few endeavors more satisfying than to be intimately engaged in advancing Pratt and nurturing the outpouring of creativity, the technical expertise, and the humanizing social benefits that are generated by this incomparable institution.
Thomas F. Schutte