This newsletter was originally published on the website in December of 2008



December 2008

Top of the News

  • James and Marilyn Simons, friends of The Cooper Union, have made an extraordinary pledge to support our new academic building and we are extremely grateful.We have also received a wonderful gift from the estate of Frank Stanton, the late president of CBS. His first bequest, in 2003, was to name the Graphic Design Studio at 41 Cooper Square in honor of Ann Dorfsmann (A’39) and Louis Dorfsman (A’39). Lou, who recently passed away, was the design guru of the television company for many years. The new gift was made by the executors of Stanton’s estate who will name a space in The School of Art in memory of Cipe Parneles and her husband William Golden, Lou’s mentor at CBS.
  • Cooper Union has launched a new lifetime giving society — The Sarah Amelia Hewitt Society, which recognizes generous benefactors who’ve given $100,000 or more to the College. This Society joins The Abram S. Hewitt Society (honoring those who have contributed $250,000 or more), The Sarah Bedell Cooper Society, (honoring donors whose lifetime giving has surpassed $500,000), and The Peter Cooper Heritage Society (honoring those who have contributed $1 million or more) The following people were inducted as members during a special dinner at the President’s house on November 19, 2008:

The Peter Cooper Heritage Society: William King (A’48), Marylin Diamond, Janet Neschis and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust

The Sarah Bedell Cooper Society: Alphonse Normandia (A’48) and the Normandia Family

The Abram S. Hewitt Society: Claire Wesselmann (A’59) and Tom Wesselmann (A’59)*

The Sarah Amelia Hewitt Society: Robert Bassemir (ChE’49), Alfred Brand (CE’67) , John P. Clarke (AR’66), James E. Craig (A’63), Barbara Nessim and Jules Demchick, Roberta Dening and Deke Dening, Byron G. Gibbs (A’51), Jack D. Goodman (ME’51), John Huddy (AR’85), Evelyn Katz, Andrew S. Labowsky, Jr., Edgar Mokuvas (EE’78), Helene Swedowsky and Ben Swedowsky (A’49)*

* deceased

  • Rebecca Horvath has made a major gift on behalf of her father, William Horvath, to support the new academic building. The gift is being made in her father’s honor and in memory of his cousin, Ludlow Horvath (ENG ’39). A Faculty Office will bear his name at 41 Cooper Square.
  • Ed Durbin (EE’48) has made a very generous charitable distribution to Cooper Union from his IRA to support both the new academic building and the Annual Fund. Current law permits individuals age 70½ and older to rollover up to $100,000 per year from an IRA directly to a charity now through December 31, 2009.
  • The Cooper Union received a bequest from Walter Braun (ChE’42) to support the Albert Nerken School of Engineering.
  • In response to requests from students for additional lounge space on campus during the construction of 41 Cooper Square, a seating area has been created in the space adjacent to the square elevator (to the right of the library entrance in the Foundation Lobby). Students are encouraged to make use of the space and enjoy the comfortable furniture.
  • Help keep the Foundation Building clean and orderly! Effective immediately, the tall kiosk in the lobby (by the round elevator) will be used solely to advertise major lectures and events sponsored by The Cooper Union. Advertisements for all other events may be posted on approved bulletin boards designated by the academic and administrative units. If you have any questions, please consult with your respective dean’s office. Flyers or advertisements posted in areas other than the approved areas will be removed.


  • Constantine Yapijakis, Professor of Civil Engineering, has been elected as a member of the recently established Greek government Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (equivalent to ABET) as mandated by the European Union. He will be a member of the external evaluation committee for programs of Environmental Engineering in Greek Universities.
  • In November William Germano, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, gave the annual address at the meeting of the Spanish University Presses organization in Cordoba, Spain. He also taught a master class in publishing at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.
  • Atina Grossman, Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, will be the Walter Benjamin Visiting Professor of German Jewish Studies at Bulboldt University in Berlin this Spring semester.
  • Marek Bartelik, Adjunct Associate Professor in Art History in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been elected a Vice President of AICA International (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art) during the AICA Congress in Spain last week. AICA was established by UNESCO in the late 1940s to promote independent art criticism around the world. Presently, it has over 60 national sections on all continents. Since May 2008, Bartelik has been a Co-President of AICA-USA, which represents over 400 art critics in this country.
  • Carl Selinger (CE’67), Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering, was interviewed November 12th on a San Diego-based radio program for entrepreneurs called “I’m There For You Baby.” Professor Selinger spoke about the importance of engineers learning soft skills, as covered in his 2004 book Stuff You Don’t Learn in Engineering School. The podcast of the interview is available online.
  • Robert Dell, Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering is an Investigator for The Orkuveita Reykjavikur (Reykjavik Energy) Environmental and Energy Research Fund, working on the restricted project grant “Possible Prolonging of Playing Season on Golf and Soccer Fields,” in collaboration with The Agricultural University of Iceland. The approximately $60,000 grant will run from 2008-10. In relation to this, Professor Dell was a guest speaker at Columbia University for the Columbia University Renewable Energy Society (CURES).Professor Dell is working with Blue Golf Course Advisory Committee to explore green energy power generation options — solar and wind — for buildings and recharging golf cart batteries. New York State Grants will be sought to fund this project as a highly visible showcase for renewable energy possibilities. Cooper Union students and faculty (with the support of The Dean of Engineering) are helping him complete this initial report for Orangetown’s municipal golf course.
  • Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering Rob Marano (EE’93) was interviewed on Dr. Andres Fortino’s radio show on WFAS in Westchester Country, on the information security industry earlier this year. An MP3 of the interview is available here. Professor Marano has also been invited to teach global innovation at NYU Polytechnic’s MBA and Management training program.
  • Eric Lima, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been chosen to present his work at Columbia University for the upcoming 55th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, in late February 2009.
  • Engineering students competed in the AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) race car competition and took first place for safest car; third place for best poster and fifth place in the race itself. Cooper Union competed with 33 other schools.
  • Cooper Union’s programming teams finished fifth on Sunday, October 26th in Patchogue, Long Island at St. Joseph’s college — the best for a school that does not offer a PhD in Computer Science. Cooper’s top two teams solved the first problem first and third, respectively, out of all teams competing. Cooper’s team was coached by Professor Carl Sable and Professor Chris Lent (EE’84).
  • John V. Sheoris (AR’51) has been selected to receive the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects Detroit, the Institute’s highest honor. John is a Fellow in the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and holds degrees from Cooper Union and Yale University. He has served numerous professional organizations including the National AIA Committee on Design and is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the college of Architecture and Design for Lawrence Technological University.
  • Kevin Evans (A’12) is this year’s recipient of the Philip and Clothilde Lee Nubian Women’s Art Circle Award, recently bestowed at the 11th Annual Circle of Art Awards Reception at the Bank Street College of Education. Kevin has been chosen for this Nubian Women’s Art Circle Scholarship, awarded annually to deserving college freshmen, because “his quiet intensity, thoughtfulness [and] awareness of culture and community are exemplified in his artwork.”

publications, presentations and major exhibitions

Giving to cooper union

  • In the spring of this year, a group of alumni and friends of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture got together to come up with a way to honor the late Dean of the school, John Q. Hejduk (AR’50), who had been such an extraordinary influence on their careers. Steering Committee Co-Chairs Carmi Bee (AR’67) and John Clarke (AR’66) recently reached out to fellow architecture alumni, faculty and friends of The Cooper Union to name the entire third floor of the Foundation Building “The John Q. Hejduk Studios.” We are grateful to them and to lead donors Richard Cordts (AR’68); Ralph Desimone (AR’67); Steven Fischer (AR’74); John Gallagher (AR’70); Leslie Gill (AR’82); Edward Gormley (AR’90); Anastasios Kokoris (AR’80); Stephen Lawler (AR’87); Robert Mammarella (AR’67); Toshiko Mori (AR’76); Josef Pawlak (AR’90); Bernard Rothzeid (AR’49); Margaret Salamone (AR’89); Francisco Salas (AR’77); Lee Skolnick (AR’79); Dan Stewart (AR’49); and Joseph Sultan (AR’76). In addition, gifts were made by architect Charles Gwathmey and John Hejduk’s widow, Gloria Hejduk (AR’49).
  • Don’t miss your chance to have your name on the Alumni Roof Terrace! Recognition starts at $2,500 — less than $50 a month! — all gifts are payable through December 31, 2012. For more information, contact Claire Michie at 212-353-4171 or;


Don’t Miss Alumni Events

  • The Parents Reception will be held at the President’s Residence on Thursday, December 11, 2008 to honor members of the Parent’s Council, co-chaired by Guy and Patricia Mascioli, parents of Christopher (ENG’09). The evening’s Guest Speaker will be Peter Buckley, Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Alumni and parents in the greater Chicago area are invited to a reception with President George Campbell Jr., Vice President for External Affairs Ronni Denes and Director of Alumni Relations Susan Moyle Lynch at Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel on Wednesday, December 3, 2008.
  • Art Basel Miami Beach is the occasion for a gathering of alumni and parents at the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse hosted by the Florida Chapter of the Cooper Union Alumni Association on Saturday, December 6, 2008. Associate Dean of the School of Art Sara Riesman and Annual Fund Manager Lauren Sampson will greet guests.
  • Please note the date change: the Florida Founder’s Day Luncheon hosted by the Florida Chapter of the Cooper Union Alumni Association will be held on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale. Check Special Events on for more information.

Upcoming Lectures and Public Programs

  • Professor James Abbott: The Physics of Musical Strings
    Thursday, December 4, 6:30 pm, lecture, The Great Hall
    Acoustical Physicist Dr. Jim Abbott, Director of the Acoustics Lab at the Albert Nerken School of Engineering of The Cooper Union, will discuss the nature of sound produced by stringed musical instruments. Come learn how the guitar, cello and piano — which have important acoustical similarities as well as differences — each effectively transform the musican’s physical inputs into distinctive musical sounds. Live demonstrations are included.
  • Benjamin Binstock: Vermeer’s Family Secrets: Genius, Discovery, and the Unknown Apprentice
    Thursday, December 4, 6:30 pm, lecture and book signing, Wollmann Auditorium
    Johannes Vermeer, one of the greatest Dutch painters, has long been thought to be a mystery man of art. Binstock has reinterpreted several key documents to bring a new perception to the work of this painter. He shows that several of the paintings accepted as canonical works by Vermeer are actually by his eldest daughter, Maria.
  • Studs Terkel: 1912-2008
    Sunday, December 7, 4:00 pm, memorial service, The Great Hall
    The New Press invites you to celebrate the life and work of Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, listener, activist and friend of working people everywhere. Please join us for a public memorial service with Steve Earle & Allison Moorer, Laura Flanders, Sydney Lewis, Victor Navasky, André Schiffrin, Dan Terkell, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Gary Younge and Howard Zinn. Co-sponsored by The Nation and The Indypendent. For more information, please contact or call (212) 629-8811.

Did You Know?

  • The Cooper Union Annual Fund Committee Chair Kathryn McGraw Berry (AR’80) and Co-Chair Robert Tan (AR’81) hosted a private “Thank You” reception on November 13, 2008 at the Cheim & Read gallery to view the exhibition Joan Mitchell: Sunflowers. Ninety-eight alumni, parents and friends who contributed to the Annual Fund in Fiscal Year 07 and 08 were acknowledged at this event.
  • Cooper Union Trustee Bruce Pasternack (ME’68) and event chair Hsu-Wei Shueh (EE’90) hosted a networking social on November 13, 2008 at the Hotel Sofitel San Francisco Bay. Twenty Cooper Union alumni and their guests from the Northern California Bay Area attended this get together to reconnect to the Cooper Community.
  • Cooper ReUnion Committee leaders Xenia Diente (A’99) and Events Committee Chair Rocco Cetera (CE’99), and 12 reunion committee members, organized an event on November 15, 2008 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the graduating Classes of 1998 and 1999. The event, attended by 53 alumni and guests, began with a tour of the new academic building followed by a reception at nearby Phebe’s Tavern and Grill.
  • Cooper Union’s Engineering Design and Problem Solving class is designing and building a model shelter from low-level garbage. The general idea is to see whether a template design for use throughout the world can be developed. At the moment, they haven’t collected enough trash to build a prototype, and are in search of ready to use and clean trash. You can really help them reach their goal before the end of the semester by donating all your clean, intact aluminum cans, two liter soda bottles, juice/milk cartons and plastic bags. Collection boxes will be placed in the foyer of the engineering building. Please remember place your donations in the appropriately marked box.
  • Shekar Krishan (BS’06) was heavily involved in organizing a visit to the University of Michigan Law School by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu early November, 2008.