A Message from the CUAA President Regarding the 2016 Annual Fund
The last 4 1/2 years have been a trying time for Cooper Union and all of us who care about it — a time of uncertainty and shifting priorities, troubling financial revelations, and disagreement over what the future of our beloved alma mater should look like.
At every juncture, Cooper alumni have demonstrated leadership — from organizing community forums in the early days of the crisis to coming out in record numbers last Fall to elect new Alumni Trustees in compliance with the Consent Decree.
As you likely know, as part of that Consent Decree, the Free Education Committee is tasked with determining whether it is possible for The Cooper Union to be free. But how can one know what is possible? Almost every factor the committee must consider, from costs to inflation to return on investments, is dynamic and difficult to predict. Only one factor is within our control, perhaps the most important of all. That factor is what we give as a community. We need to show — this fiscal year – that participation in the Annual Fund has the potential to help drive us towards a free, sustainable Cooper Union.
Now, more than ever, we have the ability to drive change through our financial support.
As we approach the close of this year’s Annual Fund campaign, I am pleased to report that alumni participation is already up significantly, and the percentage climbs with each new donor. This makes a difference because robust alumni participation in the Annual Fund will directly help inspire support from outside foundations, corporations and other groups.
The Annual Fund total as of this writing is $2,245,164. Looking back at giving over the last ten years, we’re having a great year. But we need to do better. We need to give at an unprecedented rate, and set a high bar to exceed in the year ahead. We must embrace this opportunity to define what is possible.
That’s why I’m asking you to please show your leadership again and join me in making a gift to this year’s Annual Fund before June 30, 2016. This is a critical moment in our school’s history, and I sincerely thank you for your commitment to Cooper Union and Peter Cooper’s mission.
Nils Folke Anderson, A’94