125th Gala will kick off Anniversary Week on October 15 and will honor the Pratt Family, Maximilian Josef Riedel, Julie Taymor, and Kehinde Wiley
Pratt Institute will kick off its 125th anniversary week with a golden gala on October 15 at New York’s famed Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. The event will celebrate Pratt’s rich history and impressive roster of alumni and faculty in a magnificent venue designed in 1929 by Pratt alumnus Lloyd Morgan (Architecture 1911). As the Institute’s largest fundraiser to date, the 125th Gala has raised record-breaking funds for student scholarships through ticket sales. In honor of Pratt’s school colors of cadmium yellow and black, gala attendees are being encouraged to wear gold festive dress to the black tie event. The Empire State Building lights will also be decked out in gold the night of the gala in celebration of Pratt's anniversary.
"We’re excited to commemorate Pratt’s 125th by celebrating the Pratt Family at our anniversary gala as well as our other distinguished honorees: Maximilian Josef Riedel, CEO of Riedel Crystal of North America; Julie Taymor, director of theater, opera, and film; and Kehinde Wiley, artist and contemporary portrait painter," Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte said. "We’ll also recall the past achievements of our illustrious faculty and alumni, as we raise much-needed scholarship funds for the next generation of talented Pratt students."
The Waldorf=Astoria itself is one of countless examples of Pratt’s iconic cultural legacy. In addition to cocktails and a seated dinner, this year’s gala will also include the unveiling of works to be featured in 125 Icons, an exhibition in honor of the Institute’s 125th anniversary featuring the most revered works by alumni and faculty as voted on by the Pratt community.
The day after the gala, Pratt will be celebrated in a documentary film, Treasures of New York: Pratt Institute, which will air Tuesday, October 16, from 10:30–11 PM on WLIW21 and Thursday, October 18, from 8:30–9 PM on WNET13. The program, which is hosted by former Pratt student and celebrated writer Pete Hamill, will go inside the Institute to discover its storied history and explore its architectural and cultural impact. The program is also available to national audiences on the series website.
Details on additional 125th events, including a campus-wide celebration to take place on the anniversary of the Institute’s founding on October 17, will be made available closer to the date. The 125 Icons exhibition will open at Pratt Manhattan Gallery this November and remain on view through January 2013.
Text: Amy Aronoff
Photos (L to R): Courtesy of the Pratt Institute Library Archive, Crystal of America, Marco Grob, Kwaku Alston