Pratt Institute celebrated Alumni Day 2017 on October 7, welcoming a wide range of alumni to the Brooklyn campus to reconnect with classmates. The event featured a full program of activities, from walking tours to exhibitions and life coaching sessions, and culminated in an elegant, catered dinner and Alumni Achievement Awards celebration.
Pre-Alumni Day events included an Undergraduate Architecture in Rome Program 40+4 Anniversary Reception at the Caroline Ladd Pratt House on October 6.
This year, Alumni Day was held during Family Weekend, giving current students and their families a glimpse of what it is like to be a part of the Pratt alumni community. Members of the class of 1967 gathered at the Caroline Ladd Pratt House for a 50th reunion luncheon attended by Interim President Kirk E. Pillow. Before gathering for a class reunion photograph, the former classmates took turns addressing the group to share Pratt memories and entertaining stories.
Just down the block on Clinton Avenue, a steady stream of visitors stopped by Gallery House, a private gallery space of the DGT Alumni Association (formerly Tau Delta Phi – Delta Gamma Theta Alumni Association), which hosted its second annual alumni reunion and exhibit of works by alumni.
Back on campus, the sunny weather provided an attractive setting for the Writing Program Reunion, which drew an attentive audience to the Rose Garden behind the Pratt Library for readings by program alumni, current students, and faculty.
The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) held a well-attended pre-dinner reception along with a display celebrating the achievements of black and Latino Pratt alumni. At the event, The Black Alumni of Pratt honored the memory of award-winning marketing and communications specialist and journalist Karen LaVerne Glover (B.F.A. ’80), who passed away this year.
There were many opportunities for reminiscing, socializing, and networking throughout the day. The third annual Alumni Exhibition, with work by more than 50 graduates, was a highlight for many Alumni Day attendees. The curated exhibition in galleries across campus spans several decades and a range of artistic disciplines, and includes works by Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul Rand, Pat Steir, and many other Pratt alumni. The exhibition was spotlighted by Paper Magazine as one of “10 Must-See Art Shows Opening This Week” (October 5, 2017).
In the evening, more than 200 alumni and guests dressed in stylish black attire to attend a festive “Dîner en Noir” on campus—Pratt’s twist on the “Dîner en Blanc” global event. The 2017 Alumni Achievement Award winners were honored during the dinner, which featured remarks by Interim President Pillow and a presentation of awards to this year’s honorees, Lillian E. Benson, ACE (B.F.A. Art and Design Education), Charles Churchward (B.F.A. Communications Design ’71), William Porter (M.I.D. ’58), Jean Shin (B.F.A. Painting ’94; M.S. Art History and Criticism ’96), and Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo (B.F.A. Communication Design ’72). Dinner was followed by a DJ playing music, with dancing to close the evening.
Photos: Sam Stuart