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.