October 2017 CUAA Newsletter


2017 CUAA Block Party — Cooper Means Union

The 2017 Block Party was held on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 on the portion of 4th Avenue bordering the west side of the Foundation Building. The sidewalk and street were filled with craft activity tables, and information tables hosted by CUAA.  The Cooper Union Library Archives was there.There were also activities planned by the many student clubs, including:  Cooper Nova; Cooper Motorsports; The Pioneer;  Smash Club, Black Students Union; Ping Pong; Chinese Yo-yo Club;  SociaLite; Product Design @ Cooper; Arts, Letters and Numbers; Queer & Allies; ‘Cooper Rad.io’; Cooper Brew; Student Publication & Press Club; Art Student Council; and Engineering Student Council.  Thank you to the organizing committee lead by Victoria Sobel A’13, Harrison Cullen A’15, Casey Gollan A’13.   More than 100 members of the Cooper Union family helped organize and staff this event that was enjoyed by many.

CUAA Block Party was coordinated with the larger Astor Alive festival which included live music and participation by area civic groups.

See Photos


2018 Founder’s Day Awards

Open Call for Nominations of Distinguished Living Alumni – 2018 Founder’s Day Awards

Alumni have an opportunity to nominate fellow alumni for one of the four CUAA Founder’s Day Awards that will be awarded next spring. Please nominate living Art, Architecture, Engineering, Physics and Math alumni who are extraordinary in their fields for the appropriate professional award and alumni with any major who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to public service for the Peter Cooper Public Service Award using the Nomination form. The winners of these awards will be added to the Cooper Union Hall of Fame created in 2009. The deadline for submitting nominations is November 15, 2017.

The Alumni Hall of Fame includes all alumni who have received the Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Q. Hejduk,  Gano Dunn, and the Peter Cooper Public Service Award; the President’s Citation; and alumni who have been recognized as Urban Visionaries.  The Hall of Fame can be found here.  The deadline for submitting nominations is November 15, 2017.

2018 Founders Day Award Nomination Form

The Free Education Committee (FEC) would like invite all alumni to a meeting and informal discussion to be held on October 11th from 6 to 8 pm (location at CU, TBD). During the session members of the FEC and President Sparks will provide an update on work completed to date and the plan for the work ahead. Alumni will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide ideas for the committee.

Please RSVP to Crystal Ortiz at cortiz@cooper.edu or 212.353.4269.

Alumni Participate in Archtober

Archtober is a month long celebration of architecture in New York City.  Throughout the month there are exhibits and presentations at the Center for Architecture, at museums, and area colleges.  The Cooper Union is a sponsor.  Several Architecture firms have opened their studios for tours.  And there are tours of some amazing buildings. Each day of the month one sight of architectural interest located in the city is showcased in the media.   Alumni that are participating include:  Joseph Goldstein AR’86; Daniel Libeskind, AR ’70; Anthony Titus, AR ’98 ; Alex Gil, AR ’01; Liz Diller AR’79;  Gia Mainiero AR’05.   Read More

2017 Annual Fund

The 2016-17 year at Cooper Union brought positive change in many ways – we welcomed Laura Sparks as our first woman president, our financial stability improved through reexamining the budget and making difficult but necessary cuts, and the Free Education Committee continued its work in developing a strategic path back to free tuition. The results of our 2016-2017 Annual Fund reflect these positive developments. We see a growing commitment and generosity within the Cooper alumni community in support of our beloved alma mater.


We offer our sincere thanks to all who donated to the 2017 Annual Fund. All annual fund gifts totaled $2,641,147, up 5% from the previous year. Alumni participation remained steady with 2,651 alumni donating, and we saw a substantial increase in the amount given by alumni.

– Alumni donations to the annual fund totaled $1,939,232. A 12% increase as compared to last year, and a 26% increase as compared to 2015.

– The average alumni gift was $732, up 10% from 2016.

– Alumni participation in the Innovators Society (donors who contribute at or above the $1,000 level to the Annual Fund) increased by 12% over 2016.

As confidence in Cooper’s leadership and direction returns, let us continue this positive trend in alumni giving for the 2017-18 year. We will be sending communications to alumni throughout the months ahead and we ask you to please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this year’s annual fund. Your gift at any amount is greatly appreciated!      Learn More

Give to the 2018 Annual Fund

In Memoriam: Adrian Jovanovic BSE’89

Adrian Jovanovic BSE’89 died in a tragic accident on June 17, 2017 while hiking in Washington State. Adrian was a founder of the Committee to Save Cooper Union, an organization of students, faculty and graduates that mounted a successful legal challenge to this decision. In a special election, Adrian was elected to the Cooper Union Board of Trustees in 2015. Adrian worked tirelessly with his fellow trustees to help Cooper Union fulfill its promise to restore free education.

A Memorial was held at The Cooper Union in the Great Hall for Adrian Jovanovic BSE’89 on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 6PM.  See Photos

 In Memoriam

CU School of Art Professor Gian Berto Vanni has passed away.  He is missed by legions of former students. Read more.

Alumni who have passed away this year.  Link

CU President Laura Spark’s Letter to The Cooper Union Community at Start of New School Year

President Laura’s  letter to students, faculty, and alumni welcomes students and faculty back to school, highlights the upcoming programming for the Great Hall and the strategic planning process for the school. The CU Board of trustees is working in tandem with the Free Education Committee’s efforts to develop a sustainable path back to free tuition.  Laura has established a Community Planning Collaborative and will be holding a series of Open House events.  Read Letter




9-7-17      September Council Meeting

The first CUAA Council meeting for the 2017/2018 school year was held on September 9, 2017 in room LL101 in the New Academic Building (NAB).   27 Council Members and 3 guests attended.  CUAA President Paul Nikulin CE’06  opened the meeting and welcomed the  new officers, council members and guests.   Paul Nikulin  gave a presentation summarizing the CUAA Council Retreat held in July.  At this retreat, council members participated in a workshop facilitated by Rachel Appel A’13 and Lynn Lander ChE’60.  The workshop allowed participants to discuss CUAA goals for the year and identify the goals that should be given more time and energy during the coming year.   The goal that emerged from the discussion as  most important is finding and employing ways to increase alumni engagement.  Next Paul Nikulin explained that going forward this year, the Alumni Trustee Report for Council meetings will be a written Trustee Update Report distributed at the beginning of the meeting.  Questions were voiced about whether this will be replacing in-person reports from the Alumni Trustees, and whether there will be any Alumni Trustee Forums.  Paul said that this will be tried in lieu of an in-person report during the council meetings.   It is not a substitute for the Alumni Trustee Forums, which have not been discussed yet.  Rachel Appel A’13 gave a short demonstration on Robert’s Rules of Order.

Past President, Nils Folke Anderson A’94 gave an update on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) committee.  The MOA Committee will work with administration members to develop a new agreement outlining how these bodies interact with one another.  Carol Wolf A’84 reported on the activities of the Annual Fund Committee. VP Student Faculty Liason, Darren Rogers AR’05  summarized a recent meeting held with the CU Career Office and the CU Student Affairs office.  He indicated that a few new initiatives were discussed.  They include more CUAA interaction with the Joint Student Council and a possible new mentoring program for new students.  Director of Alumni Engagement, David Minder spoke about Mock interview Night which will be held on October 5th.  Alumni are encouraged to register as soon as possible.  Ron Vogel ChE’01 introduced him self as the new Communications Committee Chair and asked for volunteers to write, to help with technology and to help with design.  3 council members volunteered.  VP Student Activities, Kelly Occhiuzzo Zack A’90 explained that we are still looking for someone to chair the Events Committee.  Hope Wade A’87 volunteered.   Casey Gollum A’13 gave an update on the plans for the Block Party on September 23rd.  Susan Shaw A’70 said the Nominating committee will have their first meeting in bout 3 weeks.   Carol Wolf introduced herself as one of the co-chairs of the Augustus St. Gauden’s Committee.  Bill Wolf is the other co-chair.  Ed Abaid CE’76 introduced himself as head of the Gano Dunn Committee.  Wes Rozen AR’05 introduced himself as head of the John Q. Hejduk Committee and Mary Lynch ChE’82 introduced herself as chair of the Public Service Award Committee.  All four award chairs said that they welcome new members and nominations.  Nomination forms 2018 Founder’s Day Awards will be accepted until November 15.

Paul Nikulin mentioned the passing pf Judy Seigel A’54 who was a CUAA Council Member and Adrian Jovanovic BSE’89 who was an Alumni Trustee.  He also mentioned the passing of Diane Lewis A’73 who was a professor in the Architecture School.  Jim Liubicich ChE’83 gave an update on the 5013C committee.  The meeting ended at 8:30 PM


Cooper Union Chemical Engineers Gather at The Ukrainian Restaurant for AICHE Annual Dinner

The Cooper Union was represented at the Annual Dinner for the Metro NY American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The event was held at the Ukrainian Restaurant on 9/19/2017.  The event had 60 attendees in total, representing 7 engineering schools and many businesses.  The dinner Speaker was Michelle Bryner, Lead Engineer & Facilitation Process Manager for AICHE’s RAPID Institute.  Cooper Union was represented by eight ChE students and alumni.  Shown here are Back row: Mary Lynch ChE’82  , Michael Lange ChE’19, Troy Costa ChE’18 .Middle row: Rachel Klar ChE’19, Matthew Moulton Che’20, Dave Chun ChE’19, Tamil Patel ChE’20.  Front: Larnie delos Reyes ChE’20.


Alumni Profiles

This month, we are featuring some members of the Cooper Union Hall of Fame.

Stan VanDerBeek A’56

Stan VanDerBeek is frequently cited as the originator of the terms “expanded cinema” and “underground film.”  He acquired basic film making and animation skills while working on the set of an early children’s television program, “Winky Dink and You”. He was an artist-in-residence at NASA in Houston and he was one of the first artists-in-residence at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT.  His work has been recognized at numerous international film festivals and is part of the collections of the MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.  He taught at Columbia University, the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, and the University of Hawaii, among others.  He served as the chairman of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Maryland.  He received the 1972 President’s Citation Award.   Read More

Martin Trust ME’56

Martin Trust is the President of Samtex (USA), LLC. Samtex which is a holding company that owns equity positions in companies that manufacture apparel and other products related to the clothing industry.  He has served as Cleared Advisor to the United States Department of Commerce on textile trade issues and also served on the Trade Advisory Committee for Africa.  Martin Trust received the CUAA Gano Dunn Award in 1997 and the CUAA Alumnus of The Year Award in 2013.    Read More


Robert Spindell EE’65

Robert Spindel’s research investigates how sound is transmitted in the ocean in order to improve the performance of systems used for sonar, underwater communication, and navigation.  Dr. Spindel was awarded the A.B. Wood Medal by the British Institute of Acoustics in 1981, the Gano Dunn Award from The Cooper Union in 1988, the Technical Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Oceanic Engineering Society in 1990, and the Walter Munk Award by the Secretary of the Navy and the Oceanography Society in 2001. In 2003 he was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award by the U.S. Navy, and he is a Fellow of IEEE, the Acoustical Society of America, and the Marine Technology Society.     Read More


Evelyn Jetter EE’50

Evelyn Speter Jetter received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Cooper Union in 1950 and a master’s in physics from Rutgers University.  She was a founding member of the Society of Women Engineers.  She married Allan H. Jetter EE’50 who was a classmate at Cooper Union.  Evelyn Jetter, worked as an engineer at RCA where she invented the automotive ignition transistor.  She was the primary developer of a group of epitaxial base power transistors used in electronic equipment.  In 1977, Evelyn Jetter received an achievement award from the David Sarnoff Research Center for her contributions to the development of a computer system for controlling semiconductor manufacturing.  She received the CUAA Gano Dunn Award in 1981.  Read More

The Diane Lewis Memorial Architecture Travel Fellowship: In Search of Civic Space

Close friends and colleagues of Diane Lewis AR ’76 have established an endowed travel fellowship in her memory. The Diane Lewis AR’76 Memorial Architecture Travel Fellowship: In Search of Civic Space will be awarded to Cooper Union architecture students for summer travel between their fourth and fifth years. Students will be expected to focus on a major reoccurring architectural theme of great importance to Professor Lewis – defining and designing ‘Civic Space.’

Read More in Architecture Newsletter

Cooper Motorsports

The Cooper Motorsports Team is back for a new season! A first test day in august left the 2017 car with one less wheel but the old car is ready to serve as a test bed for the 2018 designs currently being explored. A whole new group of freshman are already hard at work on the car and the team is excited for a new year


Alumni accomplishments featured prominently on CUAA website… Please take a look!   

Additional accomplishments are featured on the Class Notes section of the Cooper website.

Share your accomplishments by posting them on The Official CUAA FaceBook page and LinkedIn Group





TBD  CUAA Tour of Javitz Green Roof

Professor Joe Cataldo, will be giving a tour of the Green Roof at the Javitz Convention center with CU graduate student Max Summers.

10/01 – 10/31/17 Archtober and 10/14 – 15/17   Open House New York

Once Again The Cooper Union will be hosting events as part of this city-wide celebration of architecture.   And alumni will be participating in Open House New York events.   2017 OHNY Weekend Event Guides will be available on OHNY.ORG on October 4th.  Learn More

10/11/17 The Free Education Committee (FEC) Discussion

The Free Education Committee (FEC) would like invite all alumni to a meeting and informal discussion to be held on October 11th from 6 to 8 pm (location at CU, TBD).

October 17 2017-December 2 2017

Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment, Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery, The Cooper Union.  Learn More

Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 – 6:30pm-8:30pm


October 26, 2017 – CU@Roses’ Taproom – Bay Area Alumni Regional Group Meetup – 7:30p

4930 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

Roses’ Taproom was opened July 2017 by Cooper Union alumni Luke Janson A’08 and Hillary Rose Huffard A’07.

Join fellow alumni at 8 PM for a behind-the-scenes tour on beer brewing the design of their gastropub.   Register


11-16-17  November Council Meeting

The CUAA Council meeting will be held from 6 to 8: 30 PM at the school.  Room TBD.

Please RSVP to Crystal Ortiz at cortiz@cooper.edu or 212.353.4269.

Useful Links

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All editions of the CU Student Newspaper, The Pioneer, can be read on-line. http://pioneer.cooper.edu

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