Prentiss Grant Awarded to Faculty Members


On Jan.26, Mass Communications Department Chair Ana Rosenthal and Performing Arts Chair Beth Wortley received the Prentiss Grant, an endowment fund which enables full-time faculty members to pursue their passions abroad during the summer and bring back a fresh perspective to their classroom the following year.

The Prentiss Grant was established in 1999 by Kennedy Prentiss ‘99, Paige Prentiss- Coulman ‘92 and their parents, Michael and Pat Prentiss. The family approached interim head Liza Lee, who was headmistress at the time, with a plan to give back to the Hockaday community.

Every year, the grant is awarded to a few faculty members, who fill out an extensive application outlining their passion, where they want to travel and why, along with their budget and itinerary. A committee reviews the applications, chooses the grant recipients and consults the school head for final approval.

Lee believes that faculty recognition is much needed and that the Prentiss Grant is a great avenue to reward the faculty for their hard work.

“Every year, I am thrilled to announce the recipients for the grant,” Lee said. “I think all of the candidates are deserving, and I believe it is a great opportunity for anyone to further discover themselves and truly pursue their passions.”

Wortley plans to travel to Edinburgh and Vienna to see world famous art festivals. With her extensive dance background, she hopes to draw inspiration from international dance forms and bring the rich culture and experiences back to her classes at Hockaday, or even bring her classes to the international experience.

“I would love to see a travel program for my students and help plan a trip to go perform in the Edinburgh festival—it would be a one of a kind experience for them,” Wortley said.

Inspired by previous recipients of the grant and their experiences, Rosenthal decided to apply for the first time this year, in hopes of pursuing her passion for typography, the printed page and the printing process to the fullest extent.

For the first part of her trip, she will be attending a typography workshop in Northern Italy at the Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, a foundation established to preserve and foster the arts of letterpress printing and handset typography. Then, she will fly to Germany and visit Mainz, the birthplace of the printing press and various other cities. The last portion of her trip will be spent in Prague, a city rich in letterforms displaying art nouveau, and the art deco movement.

“The trip will allow me to be involved and appreciate the printing process. I’m planning to be able to use the experience with the publications that I teach,” Rosenthal said.

In general, the Prentiss Grant has been very beneficial to the school and faculty members.

“[The grant] gives recognition to the faculty,” Rosenthal said. “It really made me appreciate what the school is doing for me, and when you feel appreciated, you feel motivated.”

Since its establishment in 1999, the Prentiss grant has been providing faculty members the opportunity to enrich their teaching experience and bring new ideas from their experiences back to Hockaday.

“I think that people who love schools and have good experiences with teachers always want to give to something that will make teachers’ lives richer,” Lee said.

– Neha Dronamraju – Staff Writer –