Pratt Institute has announced a new initiative to help build a pipeline for creative and talented students from New York City and New York State, where 20 full scholarships will be given over seven years to further diversity across Pratt's undergraduate and graduate programs.
Guided by its founding principles of access for all, the "Pratt President's Wallace Augustus Rayfield Scholarships" are named in honor of Pratt's first known black alumnus (graduated in 1889) and support underrepresented minority students who demonstrate significant financial need in each of Pratt's five schools.
"The Pratt President's Wallace Augustus Rayfield Scholarships will provide scholarship support to underrepresented minority students who are exceptionally talented and demonstrate significant financial need in each of our schools. They are intended to further the plans and hopes of many diverse young artists, thought leaders, creatives, designers, regardless of their circumstances," stated Pratt President Frances Bronet in her Founder's Day address. "We are committed to continue to work together and collaborate with others to build a world that is more equitable, more accessible, more ecologically responsible, and more creatively imagined. That is what our founder intended."
When Pratt Institute was founded by Charles Pratt in 1887, it was among the first colleges in the United States to welcome students of every background, regardless of social standing, race, or gender. These students included Wallace Augustus Rayfield, who went on to a highly distinguished career as both an educator and a practicing architect. He is known for the design of many churches, including the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, a National Historic Landmark that stands to this day as an icon for the civil rights struggle.
Photo: Courtesy of Pratt Institute
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