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Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Pratt Mourns Loss of Former Chief Academic Officer George Lowy

George Lowy (in 1981).Pratt Institute mourns the loss of George Lowy, former vice president and chief academic officer, who died on February 9.

“He was a pillar of insight, humanity, education, and leadership at Pratt,” said current Pratt Provost Peter Barna in an email to the community, “Clearly we are all saddened by his passing and extend our heartfelt appreciation to his family and friends for their support of George as he helped make Pratt the world class cultural institution it is today.”

Born in Hungary in 1924 and educated in Budapest and New York City, Lowy arrived at Pratt in 1979 and served as the Director of Libraries. In 1989, he became Vice President and Chief Academic Officer and stayed in that position through 1990. Prior to coming to Pratt, Lowy worked at Columbia University, where he also earned his M.L.S. and later, a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

When Lowy arrived at Pratt, the Institute was on the cusp of adapting to computers.

“We can plunge into automation immediately,” he said in an early article announcing his appointment. “At Pratt, we are training people for life and therefore should teach everyone how to use computer printouts.”

“He loved working at Pratt,” recalls his wife Livia Lowy, adding that Lowy strived to always keep Pratt on the technological cutting edge and oversaw the remodeling and modernization of the library more than 20 years ago.

Robert Ratay, former dean of the School of Engineering, remembers Lowy as “an extremely well-liked provost.”

“He was very well-respected by the faculty, the board, and all the key entities,” said Ratay. “He was able to make peace and run the Institute in a very amicable way. He was an absolute gentleman.”

Lowy’s funeral service was held in Queens on February 11.

Photo: Marc Weinstein

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