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The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) recently hosted its 25th Anniversary “Celebration of the Creative Spirit” Benefit Gala at The Four Seasons Restaurant in Manhattan. The 200 supporters in attendance were high-profile members of New York City’s cultural, philanthropic, civic, and entertainment communities, such as award-winning actress and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker; Deborah Roberts, ABC News correspondent; and Al Roker, NBC’s TODAY weather and feature anchor. The special occasion marked 25 years of BAP working to create and sustain scholarship programs for highly talented African-American and Latino students at Pratt Institute on the basis of their academic merit and financial need.

The Honorable David N. Dinkins and Joyce Dinkins served as Honorary Patrons for the milestone event. Gala Chair and Pratt Institute Trustee Kathryn Chenault was joined by Co-Chairs Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols, senior vice president of external affairs at Weber Shandwick/Interpublic Group, and Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of W. Deborah Roberts and Al Roker served as Mistress and Master of Ceremonies.

BAP founder Dwight Johnson and BAP co-presidents Gerri Brown and Darius Somers were also in attendance.

The Creative Spirit Award recipients were Harris Diamond, chairman and chief executive officer of McCann Worldgroup; Harold Koda, curator-in-charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Pratt alumnus Joseph Mizzi (B.S. Construction Management ’91), president of Sciame Construction, LLC; and Pratt alumnus Mitchell J. Silver (B.Arch. ’87), commissioner of New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

The award presenters for the event were Pratt alumnus Vann Graves (M.S. Communications Design ’96), former executive vice president and executive creative director of McCann, and BAP advisory council member (Diamond); Sarah Jessica Parker (Koda); fashion designers Darlene and Lizzy Okpo (Mizzi); and Mike Pratt, vice chair of Pratt’s Board of Trustees and president and executive director of the Scherman Foundation, who presented Silver’s award to his wife Mary.

Since its inception, BAP has raised $3.1 million in endowed funds to further the BAP student scholarship effort, provided pre-college awards for high school students looking to pursue an arts education, and helped fund other BAP initiatives.