Jackie Pritzen
1930 - 2013

NORTHAMPTON - Jackie Marie Pritzen of Northampton died on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013, following a brief hospitalization at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. A long time resident of the Valley, Jackie was known and admired by many for her pioneering work with Five Colleges, Incorporated.
Jackie was born on Aug. 8, 1930 in Jamestown, La., the daughter of Jay D. and Barbara (Spinks) Pritzen. When she was seven, her family moved to Longview, Washington, and later to Westport, Oregon. Jackie earned a B.A. from the University of Oregon in 1952 and in 1953 an M.A. in English from Yale University, where she continued her doctoral studies, specializing in the plays of William Shakespeare.
From 1955-57 Jackie taught English at Bryn Mawr College, and from 1957-59 she studied in England, the first year as a Fulbright Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge University, and the second year as an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellow.
Jackie taught English at Smith College from 1959-65, and in 1966-67 was a lecturer, also in English, at Yale University. From 1967-1969 she taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
In June, 1969, just four years after its incorporation, Jackie began a 26-year career at Five Colleges, Incorporated, as the consortium's first Assistant to the Coordinator for Academic Programs. As such she helped establish many of the collaborative programs for which the consortium has become a model nationwide. During her two and a half decades with the organization, she helped establish and served as staff liaison to a wide range of academic committees and programs, including the African Studies Council, American Indian Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies, Coastal and Marine Sciences, East Asian Languages, and the Latin American Studies Council. She also oversaw faculty seminars and the Five College Lecture Fund and worked closely with the various Five College certificate programs.
By the time of her retirement as Five College Associate Coordinator for Academic Programs, Jackie had been an active participant in several major long-range planning efforts, serving with four Chief Executive Officers – North Burn, E. Jefferson (Pat) Murphy, Conn Nugent, and Lorna Peterson. In her early years Jackie worked closely with North Burn in creating the Five College Academic Policy Advisory Council (APAC), comprised of members of the faculties and academic deans. Her contributions were critical to the development of the Five College Joint Faculty Appointments Program, the growth of the Faculty Exchange Program and student interchange. Among the many challenges she undertook and succeeded in accomplishing was the creation of a coordinated Five College Calendar for all five campuses. She continued to serve as liaison to the Five College Council of Deans up until her retirement and maintained a visible presence in the Five College community up until her death.
Upon her retirement in 1995, Five Colleges, Inc. established an annual lecture in Jackie's name, honoring her for her many years of dedication to the institutions and their faculty members and for her myriad contributions while a member of the consortium's staff. Also at that time Jackie was presented with the Pioneer Award by the national Association for Consortium Leadership, recognizing her years of active membership and leadership in the Association.
At the time of her death she was working on the final chapters of a novel begun by her dear friend and colleague, Peggy Shook, who predeceased her in 2009.
Jackie was an excellent listener and meeting facilitator, and an avid reader, writer, and poet. She enjoyed cooking, spinning a good story, and spending time with her friends. Jackie had great interest in politics at all levels (on the progressive side of the ledger), was a particularly intense Red Sox fan with no detail about their injuries, stats, and coaches too small for discussion, and she always looked forward to watching Roger Federer play tennis. Whether at work promoting Five College cooperation or visiting with friends, Jackie's generosity, wisdom, and great sense of humor informed everything she did.
Jackie is survived by many beloved friends, by present and past staff members of Five Colleges, Inc., by numerous faculty and administration colleagues in the Valley, by fellow graduate school alums, and by several cousins in Louisiana.
A memorial service is being planned for the fall.
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Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on Aug. 26, 2013.
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4 Entries
I remember Jackie through her mother Barbara. My family adopted Barbara in her later years. Jackie became a family friend and we visited her in Mass at her home. Her life experience and work for The Five Colleges was always fascinating to hear about. All she did for higher education will be felt for many years to come as well as all those years that have past since she left us. She was a wonderful, caring person and her memory will live on with all those in my family.
Eric Wiggins
August 30, 2021
My family and I lived two houses away from Jackie's mother Barbara. We adopted her as a surrogate grandmother to our three children and she became part of our family for many years. We got to know Jackie through her visits to Barbara's home in the summers. We assisted Barbara in her move back to Northampton after her abilities started to fail. We have stayed in touch with Jackie over the years and since Barbara's passing and she and Erin became very close friends. We are very sad to hear of Jackies passing, the world lost a passionate individual on August 10th, 2013. Jackie, you will be missed.
Eric, Erin & Mike Wiggins
August 31, 2013
My family, especially my mother, were close friends with Jackie and her mother Barbara. We enjoyed Jackie's visits to Oregon, and we saddened to learn of her sudden passing. My mother had spoken with her a few months ago. Our thoughts are with those close to Jackie on the East Coast, as well as those of us on the West Coast who knew and loved her and her mother Barbara.
Sherri Dunmyer Partridge Virginia Dunmyer
August 29, 2013
Jackie slater and her partner Claudette I am so so so sorry fpr the loss of our beloved friend Jackie pritzen on her passing its beenhard cleaning out the house seeing the ashes really hit me hard I enjoyed talking to Jckie about everything and knowing her was awesome I am truly going to miss her so much I hope you know how much I am thinking about you and let you know I share my sympathy with you both I know she loved you two so much I hope you know I will remember her always and will have her with me where ever I go I love you two thanks for sharing Jackie with me tears are flowing as I write this I love you both xoxoxoxox diane and Janine god speed Jackie we will miss you.
Janine kozlakowski
August 26, 2013
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