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The Pritzker Passion Prize

By Susan Nordenger, assistant head of school for development
Last year, after a sudden diagnosis and short battle with a rare form of cancer, former La Jolla Country Day School teacher and parent, Glen Pritzker, passed away on September 6. His 46-year legacy as an educator, administrator, mentor and coach impacted generations of students. Following his untimely death, LJCDS created a memorial fund, The Pritzker Passion Prize, to honor his spirit and unconditional support of students in pursuit of their passions.

Together, we raised more than $70,000 and have established and endowed an annual award at LJCDS. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, past parents, family and friends all gave generously to keep Mr. Pritzker’s memory alive. This fund connects our students to the world and the world to our students. Its reach will extend for generations to come.

The fund helps students pursue a summer program between their junior and senior year in an area of study in sports, arts, community service or other interest that allows them to continue Mr. Pritzker’s legacy of mentorship. All members of the class of 2018 were encouraged to apply, and four students were selected: Jonathan Herman, Lauren Mikuriya, Lindsay Newland and Danielle Stroh.

The experiences they chose were varied and unique. However, all four students found the impact to be monumental, and it profoundly altered the way they view the world and their place in it. Each gained insights that have affected their approach to senior year. They unanimously shared that these experiences would not have been possible without The Pritzker Passion Prize, and their collective gratitude is overwhelming.

Below is a sample of their experiences.

  1. Danielle Stroh’s travels took her to the Himalayan village of Darhamsala to take part in the Global Leadership Adventures, India: Service Through the Lens™. Click here to read more.

  1. Lauren Mikuriya spent 10 days at the National Student Leadership Conference on International Business hosted at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Click here to read more.

  1. Lindsay Newland was inspired to apply for the California State Summer School of the Arts program. Click here to read more.

  1. Jon Herman was accepted into the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security: Defense, Intelligence, Diplomacy. Click here to read more.

I asked the recipients if they had any advice for this year’s junior class. Lauren said, “Exploring your passions can spark personal growth and foster passion!” Danielle added, “Don’t be afraid to push yourself a little and try something new. Do what you’re passionate about, and you’ll be on the right path.”

Members of the class of 2019 will receive The Pritzker Passion Prize applications soon. Submissions will be due on January 4, 2018. Members of the Pritzker family will read the applications and make their decisions by the end of January.

Thank you to our donors for their commitment to preserving Mr. Pritzker’s life and legacy. The impact of every donation can be measured by witnessing its immediate effect on our students’ personal growth. Our students stepped outside of their comfort zone and pushed themselves to follow their interests. We are grateful for all the various ways this community finds to support one another.


La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

© 2020 La Jolla Country Day School