Incoming and returning students traveled from across the city and around the world to Pratt Institute’s campus to kick off a dynamic new academic year. In a week-long orientation, new students were encouraged from their first moments at Pratt to make connections with their fellow students through a variety of activities. These offered something for everyone, with group trips to iconic New York neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, providing a vibrant introduction to the range of local life and culture that they can participate in throughout their time at Pratt as they develop their practices and expand their knowledge.
Over a series of days, students arrived at the residence halls where they met new friends and reunited with classmates. This year’s student body represents 49 states and 80 countries, with more than 20% identifying as first-generation students.
President Frances Bronet and Delmy M. Lendof, vice president for student affairs, greeted undergraduate students in two sessions in Memorial Hall, with President Bronet in her introduction sharing her excitement for the year ahead and all that the students will accomplish. They also hosted a special welcome for families that gave an overview of health protocols, move-in, and what students will experience at Orientation.
To prepare for the upcoming semester, incoming students joined tours of the campus and its resources, such as the library and the Learning/Access Center. Sessions with the mindfulness-focused Meditation Incubator and the Ignition Lab, which engages Pratt’s aspiring entrepreneurs in creating startups, gave insight into the breadth of programs at Pratt. Specialized sessions for incoming, international, transfer, graduate, and other students helped them learn how to make the most of their immersive educational experience.
The Pratt Quest had students working in teams to complete a scavenger hunt around the Brooklyn campus where they discovered various offices, departments, and more along the way. Social happenings further brought students together, including a games and sports night in the ARC, an outdoor silent disco, a casino night in the Student Union, a film screening on the lawn, a block party with light-up mini golf and ping-pong, and a trip to Coney Island.
Other events supported students in adjusting to life in New York City, whether in understanding how to navigate both the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses or learning how to use the subway. Visits to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden demonstrated the range of cultural resources just a short ride away that can make the city an inspiring part of their college experience. An early morning walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the sunrise showcased the beauty of the Manhattan skyline and the harbor in the first warm light of dawn.
Before the busy beginning of classes, the joyful week was a time to explore all aspects of life and learning at Pratt while forging a community among the diverse incoming student body.