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Starting the New School Year Together


Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am so excited to welcome you to campus for the start of Pratt’s 135th anniversary year. Those of you who were here this past week saw our campuses come alive with new and returning students, staff, and faculty for move-in days and orientation. We met families who accompanied their students to campus from around the world, and got to know the newest members of our community over pizza or tie-dying t-shirts, at the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and on Coney Island’s boardwalk and the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Today, as we begin classes, we enter into Pratt’s immersive educational experience once again, with renewed energy and many new academic colleagues and leaders. Provost Donna Heiland, well into her first year in her new role, has been working with her restructured team, as well as the deans and chairs, to prepare for this launch. Along with the returning deans, Helio Takai has begun his first year as dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Quilian Riano has stepped into the role of interim dean of the School of Architecture. We also welcome the new assistant and acting assistant deans, as well as new chairs, full-time and part-time faculty and staff, and the amazing new students who have joined us this week.

An intellectually and compassionately generous community like Pratt is what we need now to design in our complex world. You will learn from your teachers, directors, partners and, indeed, one another how valuable it is to approach new situations without a predetermined viewpoint. Together, we’ll ask questions, listen to all voices, take risks, and discover unexpected ways to excellence.

Opportunities to grow and learn are rich at Pratt and in Brooklyn and include all that New York City offers as an arts and cultural capital. Pratt’s outreach and landscape goes from galleries and museums, to incredible city streets, to expert collaboration through our research facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and with community-based groups through our schools and centers. Our portfolio contains a myriad of projects and stories; they can be found on our new website at

This is the place to be and it’s wonderful to have you all here. As you settle into your studios and classrooms, your residences, offices, and all around our campuses, keep in mind how fortunate we are to be here in this moment, and how important it is that we weave our experiences to be our best selves and make Pratt our place together.

When you see me around campus, please stop and say hello. I look forward to connecting.


Frances Bronet