Robert Dulak, BA Social Science ’68, has worked as an education and programming consultant since retiring from his career in college administration. Kent State functioned as his professional home after he pursued a graduate degree there and joined the school’s residence life department. He eventually went on to direct the athletics program at Kent’s Ashtabula campus.

Dulak studied architecture at Pratt before transitioning to the social sciences and views his time here as instrumental to his educational and professional journey. After receiving financial aid of his own while in college, Dulak has felt inspired to give back to future generations and has been an ongoing supporter of Pratt students. For Giving Day, he shared insights from his career and his belief in the transformative power of higher education.

Can you share with us your journey from architecture to liberal arts and sciences at Pratt? What were some of the things you were learning at the time that motivated this transition?

I feel privileged to share how my Pratt experience shaped my further studies and career path, highlighting the significance of financial aid in this journey. My story is somewhat atypical for a graduate. It began in the fall of 1964, when I enrolled in the School of Architecture. During my sophomore year, an architectural history course revealed my deeper interest in cultural history over design. Coincidentally, my third year aligned with an expansion of liberal arts at Pratt. I relished the opportunity to pursue my newfound passion without leaving Pratt. 

How did scholarships and financial aid support impact your educational journey?

Graduating in 1968, I was accepted into the MA program in East European Cultural History at Kent State University, thanks in part to a full graduate assistantship and a private research grant. I owe this academic success to Pratt’s preparation. Moreover, my experience as a dormitory floor adviser at Pratt directly led to my position as a residential hall counselor at Kent. Pratt paved the way for my journey, both academically and professionally.

After two years, I left to fulfill my ROTC military commitment. Initially, I intended to return to begin the doctorate program in the same major. However, fate intervened when my dormitory experiences led to an offer of a full-time position in Kent’s Residence Halls Department. I accepted and transitioned my graduate studies to a major in Higher Education Administration and Counseling.

How did your experiences at Pratt shape your post-graduate education and career path? How have you stayed connected to the Pratt community over the years?

Pratt not only prepared me exceptionally well for the academic rigors of graduate school but also for those of my emerging professional career. I adopted Pratt’s motto as my mantra: “Be true to your work and your work will be true to you.” At Pratt, I was constantly reminded that no task is too small to deserve my fullest effort. Therefore, I approach every project with a sense of creativity, innovation, and, whenever possible, a bit of flair—the Pratt way. This attitude served me extremely well. After six years, I accepted a much earlier promotion than expected, transferring to Kent’s Ashtabula campus where I directed Student Activities and Athletics, in addition to coaching. I remained in Ashtabula until my retirement in 1998, after which I entered the field of educational consulting and programming.

I attribute a great deal of my success to the attitude and foundation built at Pratt. My ability to successfully hold numerous state and regional leadership positions is a testament directly to the attributes developed at Pratt.

What message would you give to fellow alumni about the importance of staying connected and giving back to the Pratt community?

As a college administrator, I’ve learned that over 70% of college students rely on some form of financial assistance. I believe we stand where we are today because of our predecessors; they provided the financial platforms for us to stand upon. Now, I feel obligated to lend my shoulder so that proud students, present and future, have something to stand upon to reach their heights.

There are numerous ways you can give back to Pratt. The Office of Institutional Advancement will gladly outline these options for you. I have chosen to include Pratt in my will, to begin arranging my finances to establish a scholarship, and to donate to fundraising campaigns like this one. Consider what you can do for alumni and future generations. Lend your shoulders, design a platform.

Join the Pratt community on 3.20.24 for Giving Day! For 24 hours, we will dedicate attention to supporting student scholarships, programs, and experiences that make Pratt special. Visit