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In Memoriam 2009

Morton Abler A’40

For two decades, Mr. Abler served as chairman of fine art programs for New York’s public high schools. He taught art students at Columbia University, The Museum of Modern Art and at The Greenwich House in New York.

Richard G. Costello EE’59

Richard G. Costello began his Cooper Union career in 1967 as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, after receiving a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. In the following 32 years, Professor Costello worked as a dedicated faculty member, commencement director, chair of the Electrical Engineering department, chair of the Robotics Research Group of CURF, director of the EE laboratories, faculty adviser to clubs and professional chapters and mentor to many students. After retiring from The CooperUnion in 1996, Professor Costello consulted to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division in both International Trade and Civil offices.

Helmuth Knapp EE’50
Helmuth Knapp was born in Germany, Mr. Knapp emigrated to the United States with his parents. He served in the United States Navy as an Electronic Technician’s Mate First Class on the USS Scott, prior to admittance to The Cooper Union. Mr. Knapp had a distinguished career with the Federal Aviation Administration in the VORTAC Program Branch, TACAN Program Section, retiring in 1980 after serving as Technical Assistant to the Chief, Navigational Aids/Communications engineering Division.  Mr. Knapp was an exceptional benefactor of The Cooper Union.

George Ross Cramer EE’07 passed away on August 9, 2009 due to an accident. Classmates plan a gift in his memory to The Cooper Union.

Richard Henderson was Professor at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture from 1967–2000, and served as Associate Dean from 1982 through 2000. He was an award winning architect, noted scholar and exceptional teacher. His principal areas of interest included the study and analysis of significant works of architecture as a didactic process, comparative formal structures, origins of conceptual geometrics and historic urbanism.

Dr. Harry Hochstadt ChE’49 was head of the math department at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University) from 1963 to 1990. He authored many influential books on complex mathematics that endure as standard reference material for the discipline.

Stuart M. Melzer EE’65 joined the Aerospace Corporation in 1972 where his career spanned 37 years. Aerospace Corporation recognized Dr. Melzer as an elite engineer and twice awarded him the Aerospace President’s Award. Dr. Melzer was promoted to Distinguished Engineer and Scientist in 1994. His mathemat­ical expertise, insights, concepts and algorithms will continue to be applied by future engineers.

Bernard Rothzeid FAIA AR’49 was an architect and founder of RKT&B Architects. His firm Bernard Rothzeid & Partners became Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee in 1981, enhancing its reputation as historic preservation specialists with the successful adaptive reuse projects of the landmark EagleWarehouse, The Sofia, The owers at 455 Central Park West and Temple Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, as well as the City Center Theater inManhattan. Mr. Rothzeid’s firm became an innovator in new apartment house construction and in healthcare facility planning and design, both here and abroad. He was elected to theCollege of Fellows of the AIA and honored by The Cooper Union, where he taught and served on The Board of Trustees, with a President’s Citation in 1981 and the Augustus Saint Gaudens Award in 1986.

Dean B. Seifried EE’36 received The Cooper Union’s 1970 President’s Citation. He was named Engineer of the Year by the New York State Society of Professional Engineers and received the first Distinguished Citizen Award given by the Boy Scouts of America. His renowned generosity extended from mentoring young engineers to being a long time benefactor of The Cooper Union.


Architect, Teacher, Mentor, Benefactor and Trustee, Charles Gwathmey

by Jacob Alspector AR’72 Former Associate Partner at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

With the untimely passing of Charles Gwathmey on August 3, Cooper Union has lost a valued family member and friend.

Charles’ Cooper Union roots ran deep. Because he was interested in architecture as ayoungboy, his father, Robert Gwathmey, a painter and Cooper Union professor, introduced him to his then student, John Hejduk AR’50. This began a lifetime friendship and fostered other academic and professional relationships with the extended Cooper family of faculty, students and alumni—many of whom became close long-time professional associates.

Gwathmey’s seminal ’65 house and studio complex for his parents remains one of his best known works. Produced in partnership with Richard Henderson, then Cooper Union professor and later Associate Dean of Architecture, this and other early iconic houses established his reputation and practice. The critical ’75 publication Five Architects included Gwathmey along with other then Cooper Union professors John Hejduk, Peter Eisenman and Richard Meier. His 40 year partnership with Robert Siegel produced over 400 built works including Astor Place Condominiums across 4th Avenue from the Foundation Building and notable renovations and additions such as Princeton’s Whig Hall, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Guggenheim Museum and Yale’s Paul Rudolph Hall. Together with his wife Bette-Ann, he was also the generous benefactor of Cooper Union’s cross-disciplinary Robert Gwathmey Chair in Art and Architecture and had twice served as a trustee.

He will be missed by all he touched with his infectious generosity, tireless energy and prodigious talents.

Entrepreneur and Innovator, Howard Flagg

Howard S Flagg EE75

Howard S. Flagg EE’75

We mourn the recent passing of Howard S. Flagg EE’75, a Cooper Union Trustee from 1998 to 2006. Howard had an enormously successful career as an innovator of digital communi­cation systems. He was cofounder and served as CEO and Vice President of PairGain Technolo­gies, Inc. where he developed and managed the engineering team for HDSL technology. Prior to forming PairGain, Mr. Flagg founded and served as a principal of Advanced Telecommunications, Inc., an aerospace telecommunica­tions consulting firm. He also worked with NASA Telemetry Processing Systems.

Howard was an active and generous supporter of The Cooper Union. Together with fellow alumnus and classmate Ben Itri (EE’75), Howard endowed the Jessie B. Sherman Chair in Electrical Engineering and was honored for his generosity with membership in the Peter Cooper Heritage Society. In 1997, The Cooper Union Alumni Association presented Howard the Alumnus of the Year award for his outstanding service to the college.

The condolences of the entire Cooper Union community go to his wife Angelica and his children, Harlan and Delahna.


Samuel Zuckerman SCE 1914 Robert J. Fletcher CE’36 Edna Dollin A’44 Howard Louis ChE’53
Peter Lucchese A’17 E.Noah Gould ME’36 Evelyn J. Schiller A’44  Walter A. Johnson EE’54
Joseph M.Mero BSE’20 Leonard Luke EE’36 A.Walter Sildar ME’44  Richard Costello EE’59
Richard M. Sasse A’23 Isadore StillmanME’36 Jeanne Ream A’45  Norman Levine EE’59
Frederick G. Buhrendorf Eng’25 Victor J. Gorlach AR’37 Thomas R. VanWart CE’55  Albert C. Bergmann AR’60
Charles Schwarzler EE’26 Bernard Kassoy A’37 Daniel J. Dickerson A’46  Walter Brewer, Jr. EE’62
Joseph E. Eddleton EE’28 Sigurd J. Ipsen EE’38 Leroy Eason EE’46  Paul Singer AR’62
Sylvia Rosenwein A’29 George C. Pierce EE’38 Stanislawa A. Kurecka A’46 Gilbert I. Starr EE’62
Gerald F. Dalton AR’30 Henry William Franz Eng’38 EugeneN. Torgow EE’46 William E. Farrington A’63
SadieMulholland A’30 Florence Kunstler A’38 Paula Gazess A’47 George P. Sendeckyj ME’63
Kenneth Collins AR’31 Vincent F. Maturi ChE’39 Allan Gold A’47 HansW. Verleur EE’63
Dionysius E. D’Amico A’32 Shirley U.Miller A’39 Henry J. Egen ME’48 Henry Bierweiler EE’66
Oscar Bessio ME’33 Freda Nelson A’39  George Dombrowski EE’49 Abraham I.Holland EE’66
Boris Chezar A’33 George E.McLaughlin ME’40  Lester H. Gabriel CE’49 Peter Ferraro, Jr. EE’67
David Kaufman A’33 Seymour Wassyng A’40  Calvin J.McManus ChE’49 Stanley K. Kempner Eng’67
William Van Rosenbergh EE’33 Hessel Bouma Jr. ChE’41  Anthony Peranio ME’49 Ferenc I. Harosi Eng’67
John Tesoriero EE’34 Anthony A. Loscalzo A’41  Bernard Rothzeid AR’49 Ronald Destefanis ME’69/MME’72
James M. Constable Eng’34 Leslie Wizemann ChE’41  Norman Rubinstein A’49 Joseph Melczer EE’70
Milton Landau ChE’34 Eleanore Ferholt A’42  Maurice Bellah A’50 David S. Liebowitz PHY’74
Warren E. Larson CE’34 Gladys Morgenthaler A’42  Helmuth Knapp EE’50 Richard J. Saggio EE’77
Margaret Olsson A’34 Benjamin Radzka ME’42  Ernst Michael Massey ME’50 Yishak Bilman AR’79
William J. Sachse ME’34 A. John Simone A’42  Yaroslava Surmach Mills A’50  Leni Morris aka (Helen) Marie Fenyvesi A’32
Jules P. Channing AR’35 Berthold C.Meyer EE’43  Nathan Nadler A’51  Yvonne Thomas A’28
Yetta Golub A’35 Kurt Minati Eng’43  Richard W. Flohr ME’52  
Harold Hesselson AR’35 Leon Resnicow ME’43  Robert Booman ME’53  
Lawrence B. Coonan CE’36 Robert D. Rice ChE’43  Jeanette Feldman A’53  
Dikran A. Dingilian A’36 Martin A. Rubinstein ME’43  Irwin A. Fleminger A’53