Black Alumni of Pratt president Gerri Brown with former New York City mayor, the Honorable David N. Dinkins

*Under the leadership of newly appointed president Gerri Brown, the Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) fêted five outstanding honorees at their 21st annual Celebration of the Creative Spirit on Monday, October 3, 2011 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.  The stellar dinner attracted over 150 alumni, friends and well-wishers who turned out in support of the event benefitting the BAP Fund.

The gala gathering began with a charming cocktail reception in The Rotunda Wedgwood & Salon of the tony hotel followed by a lavish dinner in The Cotillion Room in which guests were entertained by the swinging Tevin Thomas band featuring surprise guest artist Cynthia Holiday who rocked the place.  Holiday was introduced by the New York Beacon’s entertainment editor Don Thomas.

John Lee, CEO, Callaway Digital Arts, served as dinner chair and June Kelly and John Morning served as honorary co-chairs.  The honorable David N. Dinkins and his wife Joyce served as honorary patrons.

The Black Alumni of Pratt 2011 Creative Spirit Awards honorees (clockwise) Jeff Koons, John Parham, George Lois and Maruchi Santana. (Not pictured is David Adjaye, whose award was accepted on his behalf.)

During the short but sweet awards program, Brown was joined by Pratt Institute’s president Dr. Thomas F. Schutte in presenting this year’s coveted creative awards to: architect David Adjaye, recipient of the Creative Spirit Award; artist Jeff Koons, recipient of the Icon of Artistic Excellence Award; adman George Lois (Advertising Design ’51) recipient of the Pinnacle in Art and Design Award; brand consultants John Parham (M.S.’85) and Maruchi Santana (M.S.’85), recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Creative Spirit Award.

Funds generated from this event will be allocated to BAP’s mission to assist talented students of African and Latino descent in securing their degrees and towards BAP’s program initiatives and endowed scholarship fund.  Kudos to BAP’s dynamic event manager Denise Wiggins and her “on the ball” assistant Jonathan Lewis for a job well done.  (Photos by Julie Skarratt)

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.