Honorees Include Tommy Hilfiger, Ellsworth Kelly, and Emily Fisher Landau; Rosanne Cash Performs
More than 400 guests attended Legends 2010—Pratt Institute’s largest annual scholarship benefit—honoring fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, artist Ellsworth Kelly, and philanthropist and patron of the arts Emily Fisher Landau.
The gala took place on October 20 at 7 World Trade Center, in a 45th-floor glass-walled space with sweeping views of the city. (See more images from the gala.)
Legends 2010 raised more than $560,000 for student scholarships. More than $522,000 came through ticket sales, a Legends record. About $38,000 more came from two surprise, on-the-spot pledges. Pratt Trustee James D. Kuhn generously donated $27,660 in honor of his wife and event co-chair Marjorie Kuhn, so Pratt could meet its goal of raising $550,000 through Legends; Larry Leeds, chair of Buckingham Capital Management, donated an additional $10,000 in honor of Tommy Hilfiger.
Agnes Gund, president emeritus of The Museum of Modern Art gave a warm introduction to her friend Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly, who attended Pratt in the 1940s, talked about his time at the Institute, saying that it was at Pratt that he developed the style that would become his hallmark.
“I learned about abstraction from Pratt, and I didn’t know then that it would form my life,” he said. “I want to thank Pratt for putting me on the road to becoming an artist.”
Tommy Hilfiger was presented with his award by Emanuel Chirico, chair and chief executive officer of Phillips-Van Heusen, which acquired Hilfiger’s company last spring in the largest acquisition in the apparel industry’s history. Chirico called Hilfiger an “inspiration to the fashion industry, a shining example to students that hard work, dedication, and a passion for what you do can result in achieving an American dream come true.”
Hilfiger accepted his award by speaking of luminaries from his past, present, and future, including George Lois (Cert. Advertising ’51), art director, designer, author, and Pratt alumnus, and his wife Rosemary.
Philanthropist Emily Fisher Landau accepted the final award. In introducing Landau’s award-presenter, Bill Goldston, director of Universal Limited Art Editions, event co-chair Amy Cappellazo (M.S. ’97) reminded attendees that all the money raised at Legends goes to scholarships.
“Whenever I think I’m too busy to chair this event, I think of all the great Pratt students I knew when I was a student there who—myself included—needed a scholarship to go to Pratt and were really talented and wildly smart,” she said.
In receiving her award, Landau said that early on, she developed a keen eye for art. “You could take me into any gallery with art around the room and I could tell you which was the best. And that was usually the one the artist wasn’t selling,” she joked.
Undergraduate industrial design student Klara Varosy designed the Pratt Legends Award, and was on hand to present each honoree with an inscribed award.
After a dinner that included special presentations on the student achievements of the last year, the guests were treated to a performance by Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash, accompanied by her husband John Leventhal.
Legends 2010 was hosted by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and Board of Trustees Chair Mike Pratt. Pratt Trustees Kurt Andersen and Amy Cappellazzo along with Pratt friend Marjorie Kuhn served as co-chairs for the event.
“The success of Legends 2010 was a real tribute to the commitment so many have to Pratt and its students,” said Todd Galitz, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “It was a wonderful example of how, together, we can make a difference in the lives of our students through raising new scholarship funds.”
Photos: Kevin Wick