Priscilla Kuhn, FCS Special Recognition Award 2018

Prill holds a BA. from the University of Denver and a MS from the University of Arizona. She attributes her early life, in family tenant farming in agrarian, Kane County, Illinois, up until college in Denver and later in Tucson, as a huge influence on her lifetime commitment to education and to community involvement in partnerships between public and private entities.


Prill used life experiences to command her to give homage to and turn attention to rural Arizona, its people and their issues from 1968 on. That and the influence of her metallurgist husband, Dr. Martin Kuhn, who worked for Anaconda took her to copper mine projects and towns in rural Arizona and then to Mexico, Latin America, South America, and world-wide, almost always in remote and rural locations.


Public service life for Prill started when Governor Castro appointed her as the first lay person to the Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Commission.  This led to ventures with Model Cities, the YWCA, US Senate staff, 1960 Census Arizona District 2(rural) Director, and US House of Representatives staff. In order to provide housing with services to vulnerable or marginalized constituencies in rural Arizona, Prill formed a for profit company known as Netwest which promoted early entrepreneurs in housing in rural Arizona growth towns.  Netwest’s mission was to create a community good and still make an honorable profit.


Prill’s significant contributions to the Frances McClelland Institute (FMI) throughout its creation, development and sustainability began with a close friendship with Frances and their shared passion and dedication for improving the lives of children, youth and families. She has provided her expertise and guidance with the Emerald Foundation which was created to oversee and distribute Frances’ financial legacy.  Prill is a key advisor to the FMI and the directors who have granted over 19 million dollars to agencies across Arizona. Prill continues to help make Frances’ legacy a reality by finding donors and creating opportunities for graduate students to conduct important research relating to children, youth and families.


In order to relate to Frances’s legacy, Prill was instrumental in reinstating the Frances McClelland Vision Award Ceremony for FMI and as a result has expanded the Vision Awards to include two youth vision swards, a community practitioner award, and a community partnership award.

Institutes and Centers

The University of Arizona