Pratt Institute greatly appreciates the support of our alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who make our work possible. Every gift to the Institute helps ensure that we can continue to offer our students the highest quality educational experience and prepare them for a successful future beyond graduation.
In recognition of their generosity, contributors at all levels are listed in our annual Honor Roll of Donors. In addition, Pratt offers special recognition for donors of certain types of gifts through its Leadership Societies and naming opportunities, which are available in a number of priority areas: scholarships, faculty development and academic programs, and maintaining and enhancing our historic Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses.
We invite you to meet some of the loyal alumni, faculty, staff, and friends whose generosity and involvement have helped to make Pratt one of the leading institutions of its kind:
Photographed in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Regina “Reggie” Behl (B.F.A. Art and Design Education ’43) enriched the lives of thousands of students across the country through her Quick Sketching for Travel (With Basic Drawing) workshops, which she taught for more than 20 years. To honor Reggie, who passed away in March 2011, and perpetuate her teaching legacy, the late artist-educator’s husband, Harold “Hal” Behl, has created the Reggie Behl Drawing Award at Pratt Institute to benefit a Foundation student who demonstrates outstanding work in drawing.
“Reggie’s students came from all walks of life, but they all shared a love of travel and desire to enrich that experience, as well as their daily lives, through drawing,” said Behl. “In recognition of the variety of people whom Reggie taught, and the even greater diversity of people around the world whom she touched with her quick sketches, I wanted this award to be available to the widest range of students.”
The award, which will first be made this spring, may be used to help cover anything from art supplies to travel. “I know that art students have additional costs beyond tuition and wanted to make sure that they have the flexibility to use the award to best advance their education,” said Behl.
Recipients of the Reggie Behl Drawing Award can even use the funds to help pay for a trip that inspires their drawing in much the way that Reggie and Hal’s travels to more than 90 countries—and every continent—inspired the quick sketch artist-educator’s work.
A native of New York City and alumna of Pratt’s Art and Design Education program, Reggie Behl, who also earned a master’s in painting from California State University at Northridge, taught art to students at all levels, from pre-school to adults in continuing education classes. In 1979, she developed and launched her Quick Sketching for Travel weekend workshops for the University of New Mexico’s continuing education program and later taught the workshops for the Smithsonian Institution, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the University of California. She also developed a Quick Sketching for Interior Designers workshop for the International Institute of Interior Design in Washington, D.C.
Around the world, Reggie Behl’s quick sketching attracted people to her workshops and allowed her to communicate with those she met in places as diverse as Africa and China. At the time of her death, Reggie was developing a Quick Sketching for Travel book to bring her knowledge to a new generation. While she was unable to complete that project, thanks to the generosity of her husband, Reggie’s impact on those who share her love of drawing will continue at Pratt Institute.
To learn more about Reggie Behl, visit http://quicksketchingfortravel.com
Photographed in the School of Information and Library Sciences library.
For as long as she can remember, Jill Lanier (M.I.L.S. ’92) has had a flare for organization. When she decided to capitalize on her skills and combine them with her interest in the legal field, Lanier was pleased to learn that Pratt's School of Information and Library Science (SILS) offered a graduate course in law librarianship in a program designed especially for working professionals like her. Recognizing the role that Pratt played in advancing her career, Lanier contributes regularly to her alma mater.
"When I graduated from Pratt, I felt fully prepared for the next step in my life. I want to make sure that current and future students have the same opportunity, so I make a point of giving regularly to the Institute."
Lanier, who is a member of Pratt's Gatekeeper Society that recognizes individuals who have donated to The Fund for Pratt for five or more years consecutively, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Boston's Northeastern University. A native of New York City, she returned to Manhattan after graduating and, after working in data conversion for a few years, began temping for law firms in the city. She was drawn to the law libraries and realized she needed a professional degree to advance in the field.
"SILS was perfect for me. It had an excellent law librarianship program, and most of the courses were on the evenings and weekends. Most people come to librarianship as a second career, and the program was designed to be very manageable for part-time students who were working full-time."
Beyond her professional career, Lanier is actively involved in promoting eco-friendly practices-an interest she traces back to her childhood. Today, she writes on environmental and ecological issues for the blogs Permie Peeks; With Intent, which is administered by the New York City non-profit organization Green City Challenge; and twigg hugger, which chronicles Lanier's efforts to declutter her apartment in an eco-friendly way. Lanier also volunteers at GreenHomeNYC, which helps owners of small residential and commercial buildings in New York City to use sustainable building methods and materials by serving as an information and resource hub on green building issues and services.
With her lifelong interest in the environment, Lanier is proud to be an alumna of Pratt Institute, which was named one of the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges in The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges. "I think it is great that Pratt has become a model for green building-both in the local community and among colleges nationwide," says Lanier.
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Photographed in the WolfHome New York City store near her office.
Laylah Mohammed (B.F.A. Interior Design ’09) places a high value on education and on the role that her Pratt Institute experience played in preparing her for success after graduation. Mohammed credits her Pratt professors with providing her with an education that went well beyond the classroom and helped her obtain her current position as a junior architectural designer at West Chin Architect, PLLC in New York City. Her desire to help ensure that future students can benefit from all that Pratt has to offer inspired Mohammed to make a President's Circle-level gift to The Fund for Pratt.
Mohammed first learned the importance of being a part of a strong alumni network at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts, where she attended boarding school before coming to Pratt. Born in England and raised in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and The Netherlands, she felt that, to pursue architecture and design seriously, she had to be in New York City. Mohammed chose Pratt for the interior design program's emphasis on the architectural elements of design, the opportunity to have a true campus experience in the city, and the Institute's spirit of openness and exploration.
"Having lived in so many different places and been exposed to various cultures over the course of my life, it was important to me to be in an environment that embraced diversity," she says. "Of course, it didn't hurt that the interior design program was ranked number one in the country."
Mohammed also serves as a recent graduate trustee on the Pratt Institute Board of Trustees. As a member of its Development Committee, she understands the importance of leading by example, particularly when it comes to providing for Pratt's future. "The Institute's greatest asset is its wealth of professors," she says. "I decided to give back so that Pratt can continue to attract and retain stellar faculty members and offer a high-caliber education for generations to come."
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Photographed at the New York Athletic Club
For Judith Kingsley, who is known for her meditative and compelling landscape paintings and one-of-a-kind hand-embellished greeting cards of her work, art is the knowledge of mind and soul-and she admires Pratt Institute for fostering this knowledge among the world's future creative professionals. In recognition of Pratt's ongoing legacy of training artists and designers to produce imaginative, meaningful, and original work, Kingsley is creating a legacy of her own at Pratt through a planned gift in memory of her two daughters, Ellen Kingsley Hirschfeld and Melinda Kingsley Nester.
Kingsley, who has studied art since childhood, came to Pratt in the 1970s as a continuing education student at the Institute's Manhattan campus. She was struck by the ability of her instructors to teach students how to view and appreciate fine art, and to incorporate lessons from these pieces into their own works.
Today, as an established artist whose paintings have been exhibited internationally and are included in numerous private and corporate collections such as those of Warner Communications and Johnson's Wax, she is pleased to see that Pratt continues to teach the essential components of creativity that she learned during her time at the Institute, and which she believes are similar across all of the artistic disciplines. In establishing her planned gift in memory of Ellen and Melinda, who had careers in television journalism and illustration, respectively, Kingsley is helping to perpetuate the overall importance of originality-particularly in an age when innovation is the key to success in both the marketplace and the studio. (See Kingsley's work at www.judithkingsleyart.com.)
Kingsley's generosity also reflects her admiration for Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and his wife, Tess, and the impact they have had on the Institute.
"I am so impressed by the work being produced by Pratt students today, which is a reflection of the exceptional training they are receiving," says Kingsley. "I'm delighted to be able to provide for the future of the Institute through this planned gift and to contribute to the tremendous growth that has taken place at Pratt under Tom Schutte's leadership."
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Photographed at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
Norman Rosenfeld (B. Arch. ’56) knows the impact that architecture can have on society. A New York City architect for more than 50 years, he has redefined the boundaries for health care architecture over the four decades he spent designing innovative and technologically sophisticated acute care medical facilities with an emphasis on the patient experience.
Recognizing both the role that Pratt played in providing the foundation for his rewarding career and the impact that society, especially global society, has on architecture, Rosenfeld is helping the school that gave him his start by offering future architects the opportunity to obtain an international perspective first-hand. The Lee and Norman Rosenfeld Award allows deserving and professionally motivated undergraduates in the School of Architecture to participate in the school's programs in places such as Beijing, Berlin, and Rome.
"There is a great deal of important architecture being designed in Europe and China," says Rosenfeld. "Pratt has a responsibility to assist young future architects in obtaining a first-hand world view. I've chosen to designate traveling scholarships as my way of contributing to, and expanding the vision of, the next generation of School of Architecture graduates."
Rosenfeld came to Pratt in the 1950s from the Bronx High School of Science, where he was first exposed to the field of architecture in a mechanical drawing class. He knew little else about the profession but says, "Instinct told me that Pratt was the place to be."
Rosenfeld's instinct turned out to be right; upon graduation, he joined the offices of I.M. Pei and also received an offer from Skidmore Owings & Merrill. He went on to establish his own firm, Norman Rosenfeld Architects, which, in addition to such prominent health care providers as The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Lenox Hill and Staten Island University Hospitals, served clients in the educational and commercial arenas, including the Hewitt School, Friends Seminary and Macy's in New York City. In 2007, he merged his practice with Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners, where he is consulting principal to the Health/Sciences Group. His work has earned him fellowships from both The American Institute of Architects and the American College of Healthcare Architects, and this fall he will be teaching the course "Introduction to Healthcare Facilities Architecture" at Pratt.
Rosenfeld sees his latest commitment to the Institute's architecture students as recognition of the professional opportunities he has had, and an opportunity to help pave the way for the next generation of leaders in the field. "Pratt took a chance on me," he says, "and now I want to recognize that decision."
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Photographed in her office.
Laura Bohn (B.F.A. ’77) knows interior design literally inside out-from the plumbing and HVAC systems to the colors and textures that give a room its distinctive feel-and she credits Pratt Institute with fostering that expertise. To recognize the role the Institute has played in her life and career, and to help aspiring interior designers receive the benefits of a Pratt education, Bohn has provided for the Institute in her will. Funds from her bequest will provide scholarships for students in the Institute's top-ranked interior design program.
Bohn has always had a flair for visualizing projects. After spending several years as a model, including three years in Paris, she decided to pursue her passion for design. The daughter of an engineer who worked on the Houston Astrodome, Bohn was exposed to design at an early age. She was particularly interested in the architectural aspects of interior design, a field that has traditionally focused on decoration. She found exactly what she was looking for at Pratt.
"As an interior design student at Pratt, I learned how to reconfigure existing spaces and alter traffic patterns and flow, not just to decorate," says Bohn. "This knowledge gave me a leg up in my career, particularly in working one-on-one with architects." Her expertise has attracted clients from as far away as Europe, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
Bohn was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1998, and her fabric and wallpaper designs have garnered two Interior Design magazine Roscoe awards, which recognize the interior design industry's top products in 40 categories. She feels strongly about future interior designers pursuing their education at the Institute. "The quality of the training really is unmatched," she says. "Students are exposed to a broad scope of theories, ideas, and practical instruction. I really cannot imagine a better place from which to launch a life in interior design. I hope these scholarships will allow others to follow their dreams at Pratt just as I did mine."
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Photographed at AECOM corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.
As a graduate student in Pratt Institute's School of Architecture, Ashley Zarella Hand (M. Arch. ’06) earned a reputation among her instructors for being particularly "civic-minded"—a reputation that undoubtedly played a role in her appointment to Pratt's Board of Trustees. Today, her sense of responsibility and her admiration for the Institute's leadership, particularly in the area of environmental sustainability, inspire her to give back to her alma mater through annual giving to The Fund for Pratt.
Hand came to Pratt after earning a bachelor of arts in political science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and spending three years managing direct marketing accounts at the Toronto-based national advertising firm Cossette Communications. Realizing that she wanted more hands-on creative work that would allow her to play a role in reshaping the types of urban environments that had become her home, she decided to pursue a degree in architecture; she chose Pratt for both the rigor and flexibility of its graduate program. "I was looking for an intense, exciting academic environment to introduce me to the field with opportunities to explore my own interests. I was continually impressed by the breadth of the school's offerings. My hopes and dreams were fulfilled!"
In her second year of the graduate program, Hand was nominated to serve as the Graduate Student Trustee on Pratt's Board of Trustees. During her two-year tenure on the board, from July 2004 to June 2006, she helped pave the way for the "greening" of Pratt's campus by facilitating a presentation by Atelier Ten, the visionary design firm where she was an intern, on strategies for colleges and universities to create more environmentally sensitive campuses.
Today, as an associate at AECOM, one of the world's largest providers of professional technical and management support services designed to enhance and sustain built, natural, and social environments, Hand is impressed by Pratt's leadership in environmental sustainability. "We are truly walking the talk," she says. "I'm thrilled to be an alumna of a school with such an established commitment to environmental issues."
Speaking of her motivation to contribute to The Fund for Pratt, she adds, "I was very impressed by the school's leadership. Dr. Schutte and the Board of Directors have a great vision for Pratt. I am happy to continue supporting their efforts for this and future generations of students and alumni. I encourage alumni to contribute just a few dollars each year to support the Institute; it doesn't take a lot to make a difference."
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Photographed at home in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Bill Hilson knows the importance of sustainable design as intimately as the typefaces he creates. Through his teaching and his gifts to the Graduate Communications/Package Design department and the Center for Sustainable Design Studies at Pratt, he's making a tangible difference to the field and its future leaders.
An adjunct professor in Pratt's Graduate Communications/Package Design department for nearly 20 years, Hilson came to Pratt in 1976 to study architecture and, after many fruitful years in the field, went on to become a leader in digital design, imaging, and production, introducing technology to a number of advertising agencies and design studios. In 2001, he brought his expertise to bear on the emerging area of sustainable design, co-founding the Institute for Sustainable Communication, which uses an education-centered approach to bring a practical awareness of sustainability to the communication industry. Hilson also considers himself privileged to have been able to serve as his department's chair for two semesters.
"I love teaching," says Hilson. "I get the satisfaction of knowing I'm helping to contribute to the future success of my students. It's a further honor to be able to participate in the program's-and Pratt's-growth by providing financial support for our outstanding students and activities. I'm also proud to play a part in the Institute's truly pioneering efforts to develop and promote the type of green design thinking and practices that I teach my students and bring to my professional work."
Hilson's gifts through The Hilson Family Fund, which he established at Pratt in 1997, provide essential support for technology in the Graduate Communications/Package Design department as well as scholarships for the program's most talented and dedicated graduate students. He has also contributed generously to the Don Ariev Term Award, which provides merit-based scholarships to Graduate Communications Design students. His recent gift to the Center for Sustainable Design Studies will support Pratt's transformative leadership in sustainable design education.
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