Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 5:45 PM

Trustee Kathryn Chenault Commits $1M in Scholarships to Support Diversity in School of Architecture

Trustee Kathryn Chenault, together with her husband Kenneth, have committed $1 million to establish scholarships to support diversity in the School of Architecture. Kathryn Chenault has been a member of Pratt Institute’s Board of Trustees since 2012.


Image: Higgins Hall (photo credit: Steven Holl)

Trustee Kathryn Chenault, together with her husband Kenneth, have committed $1 million to establish scholarships to support diversity in the School of Architecture. Kathryn Chenault has been a member of Pratt Institute’s  Board of Trustees since 2012. 

Kathryn Chenault. Photography courtesy Kathryn Chenault
Kathryn Chenault. Photograph courtesy Kathryn Chenault

The Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault Scholarship, which will provide comprehensive scholarship support, was awarded to three incoming high-achieving undergraduate students: Fatoumata Diallo from Columbus, OH; Ariana Dillon from Pembroke Pines, FL; and Rylee Ferguson from Coppell, TX. The full-tuition, renewable scholarship includes tuition, room and board, as well as all fees, books and supplies. 

“We continue to work unceasingly to recruit the most creative, able, and diverse voices to Pratt, and through generous support from dedicated philanthropists like Kathryn Chenault, we are that much closer to creating a more equitable architecture, art, and design industry and world,” said Pratt President Frances Bronet. 

By increasing diversity in the School of Architecture, this scholarship is poised to expand the voices and visions in the field of architecture at large. As it stands, the number of minority architects in the industry today is remarkably low. Only 2 percent of licensed architects in the United States are Black, according to the National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA), and Black women represent just 0.3 percent. 

“We are delighted to welcome these three exceptional students into the School of Architecture,” said Dr. Harriet Harriss, dean of the Pratt School of Architecture. “A Pratt education empowers students to use their creativity and talent to make positive change in the world with a curriculum focused on key real-world issues from climate change to growing inequality and a goal of graduating a new generation of socially-engaged, inclusive architects and designers.” 

The School of Architecture instructs the future leaders of the design, planning, and management disciplines in the professional fields of architecture, urban design, city and regional planning, construction and facilities management, environmental management, and historic preservation. Its undergraduate architecture program is consistently top ranked and placed seventh in the country in last year’s DesignIntelligence rankings. The program ranked in the top 10 of DesignIntelligence’s “Twelve Key Focus Areas” in five categories including communication skills, design technologies, and practice management. 

Kathryn Chenault received an honorary degree from Pratt in 2012, and joined the Board of Trustees the same year. She is dedicated to supporting educational institutions, the arts, and expanding opportunities for young people. Kathryn has supported a wide range of educational institutions, the arts, and criminal justice reform. 

“I am pleased to provide support for the achievements of these three exceptional students and to enable them to pursue their dreams,” said Kathryn Chenault. “I hope that this gift will likewise inspire other philanthropists and alumni to support diversity in higher education, especially at Pratt.” 

For more information on the impact of scholarship support at Pratt Institute, please contact Daphne Halpern, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at 718-636-3448 or dhalpern@pratt.edu