Five College Fund Established in Honor of Consortium Pioneer Jackie Pritzen

Five Colleges, Inc. has established a fund to honor Jackie Pritzen, one of the consortium’s early leaders, who died in August at the age of 83.

Pritzen was hired in 1969, four years after Five Colleges was incorporated, as assistant coordinator of academic programs. A Fulbright fellow who studied at Cambridge and Yale, Pritzen was already a veteran of consortium campuses, having taught at Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges.

Over the next 26 years she worked closely with four executive directors, playinga leading role in creating and sustaining such collaborations as faculty seminars, the Five College astronomy and dance departments, the student cross-registration system and Five College buses. She served as liaison to a wide range of academic committees and programs, including the African Studies Council, the Center for East Asian Studies, Coastal and Marine Sciences, East Asian Languages and the Latin American Studies Council. When she retired in 1995, Five Colleges initiated the annual Jackie Pritzen Lecture and in 2003 the national Association for Consortium Leadership presented Pritzen with its Pioneer Award.

The year after Pritzen began her Five College career, Hampshire College opened its doors and Jacqueline Slater became a member of its first incoming class. Upon graduation, Jacki Slater worked as a post-baccalaureate fellow for Pritzen and North Burn, the consortium’s chief executive, becoming good friends with both. After Pritzen’s death, Slater made a generous donation to Five Colleges to establish the Pritzen Fund. As part of Five College’s endowment, the fund will provide support for those programs and activities which meant the most to Pritzen, such as the annual Pritzen Lecture, certificate programs, interdisciplinary collaborations, faculty development, faculty seminars,area studies, and joint academic departments, majors and programs. More information about the Pritzen Fund can be found at fivecolleges.edu/pritzenfund.

A celebration of Jackie Pritzen’s life will be held at the Red Barn at Hampshire College on Sunday, Feb. 16 from 2-4 p.m. More information, including directions to the Red Barn, can be found at the Pritzen Fund site.