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Four Questions with Grace Beason
Grace Beason is the event coordinator in the Dean’s Office. At the events Grace creates, faculty, staff and students come together to build community and strengthen relationships. Using her experience and training, she adds essential elements that contribute to the success of meetings with our Board of Visitors and alumni, community and industry partners, and donors
What did you do before you came to Pratt?
I came to Pratt in May 2022. For nearly 25 years before that, I worked in the wedding, event and catering industries—including with Marcy Blum Associates Inc. to plan celebrity weddings and events in New York City.
For the past 16 years, I owned my own event planning business, Grace Leisure Events, in Durham and became best known for large-scale, complex weddings and food festivals.
Tell us about the recent events you planned
Working with the Undergraduate Education team, we created a party for First-Year students. The theme was “The 1980s.” Lots of bright colors and great music. Everyone had so much fun! I think students got to know each other better and relieved some of their first-week stress. With the Dean’s Office staff, I helped plan the Years of Service celebration on Sept. 15. That event is also a lot of fun, and an important annual recognition event.
What do you like to do when you're away from Duke?
I live in Durham with my husband, Mattie, a longtime Durham restauranteur, two baseball-loving young sons (Court and Than), and our rescue dog, Pepi. I love to be outdoors, travel, see live music, and art exhibits, and hang out at home with my family.
Your work is focused on the Dean’s Office, but do you have resources for Pratt faculty and staff?
I want to be an information resource for everyone at Pratt. If you’re planning an event, I have ideas for vendors, venues, décor, and logistics. I’m happy to share what I know to help make your event a success. I also ask my colleagues to let me know if they’ve had success with an event and want to make a recommendation. I love recommendations! I also appreciate feedback. Let me know what you liked, or didn’t like. I really want to bring a fresh perspective to Pratt events, while also honoring what has already worked well in this environment.
View and download more photos from the Pratt '80s Welcome Party »