A WARM WELCOME BACK TO CAMPUS
Dear Pratt Community,
Now, we can truly welcome one another back to campus for spring 2022, as we return to in-person classes after starting the semester remotely.
We anticipate a spring term filled as much as possible with the activities and events we have missed sharing in person. We look forward to those key exhibitions and gatherings in which we recognize what Pratt is truly about—not just in the product of our research, discovery, process, pedagogy, and talents but also in the community that comes out to support each other, to celebrate our students, and to delight in what it means to be a place of deep learning and growth.
We started the semester with your generosity and cooperation as January required us to pivot to “amber” conditions for two weeks, and again as we return to in-person classes this week with additional safety measures in place. During this past month, so many members of our community carefully developed additional protocols for how we work and learn together, such as sharing studios and shops, reporting vaccination and test results, and shifting syllabi and technology, all with student, faculty, and staff success and safety in mind. I am grateful for this commitment and hard work.
This month, the first of the photography and fine arts thesis exhibitions will begin, followed by our signature spring events including Research Open House online and Pratt Shows on and around our campuses, capped off by Commencement in May at Radio City Music Hall. Planning is well underway, even with the restrictions and surprises the pandemic may still bring, with a focus on providing in-person experiences for our students and their loved ones.
The new semester also brings many opportunities for growth and collaboration with the announcements of incoming hires, research initiatives at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, additional scholarship, fellowship and naming awards, and our participation with Bank Street College in New York City’s Department of Education Imagine Schools program.
Meanwhile, the searches for Pratt’s next provost, dean of SLAS, and chairs; preparation for Middle States accreditation; and implementation of our strategic plan, as well as renovations to physical space for new degree programs and to the virtual space of the Institute’s new website, continue under the dedicated direction of interdepartmental committees and staff.
I am also acutely aware that we have returned to this semester at the start of a third year of COVID-19. Many of you are still dealing with family matters, illness, and losses, as you also confront the ongoing stresses of working through the pandemic. I imagine students learning in this environment, faculty leading their classes, and staff members responding to constant needs. With this in mind, let’s make concerted efforts to look after one another, to be understanding of our students and colleagues, and to offer the generosity and kindness that we hold dear as Pratt citizens. I also encourage you to reach out for the support and services available through Human Resources, the Student Advocacy and Care Coordinator, the Learning/Access Center, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Together, we will make this new semester the celebration of the extraordinary work of our students, faculty, and staff. I look forward to seeing you on campus, at the Valentine’s Day pop-ups, in your classrooms, and at the events we cherish.