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CUAA Election Voting Ends May 1, 2014

By now you should have either received a paper or electronic ballot to vote in this year’s Cooper Union Alumni Association elections. They must be filled-out and submitted to the Office of Alumni Affairs by May 1, 2014. You may only submit one ballot for this election. For a full list of candidates and bios, visit the ballot page by clicking below.

Founder’s Day 2014

The Founder’s Day 2014 celebration was held on April 13, 2014. Founder’s Day is the annual event celebrating Peter Cooper and recognizing our alumni accomplishments. The celebration began in The Great Hall with an award ceremony opened by Event Chair Yinna Wang A’07 to recognize the 223rd birthday of Peter Cooper. Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha and Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Lincer also welcomed everyone. The award ceremony was presided over by the CUAA President John Leeper AR’85 and awards were presented to eleven alumni and one trustee who have distinguished themselves in their professions, in service to the school, and in service to the general public. The Peter Cooper Service Award was awarded for the first time and the presentation of that award was made by Milton Glaser A’51.

Block Party

On Sunday, April 13, 2014, the CUAA proudly presented its Founder’s Day celebration “Free and Open to All”. After a beautiful breakfast and award ceremony in the prestigious Great Hall of The Cooper Union, a ribbon cutting opened the street fair on Astor Place between Broadway and Lafayette. For the rest of the day, we celebrated with the community in a public street fair with delicious food, music, art and a variety of other activities.

The weather was gorgeous and it was wonderful to see our community come together. Together, we honored the achievements of our alumni and celebrated the legacy of Peter Cooper.

Alumnus of the Year Sean Cusack BSE’98 Call to Action

Sean Cusack BSE’98

In my speech at Founder’s Day 2014 this year, which can be watched over here on youtube, I described my long term goals for the school and setting ourselves some strong challenges to achieve that I believe Peter Cooper would support. Get back to need-free, then back to tuition-free, on the way to completely free, and then beyond to a world of negative-tuition stipends for all students. That’s a future I support, that’s a future of the school I plan to be part of making happen.

However, those are long-reaching goals that are going to take a lot of time and effort and working together for years and decades, and I believe that we also need things to focus on in the short-term. Read More

Cooper Union History Project

Naomi Theives capturing video footage at the 2014 Block Party

The Cooper Union History Project (CUHP) is a joint effort between the Cooper Union Alumni Association, the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Associates of Cooper Union, and Friends of Cooper Union, with the goals of preserving and sharing Cooper Union’s history. One initiative of the CUHP is an oral history project, which kicked off during Founder’s Day 2013, when Noemi Charlotte Thieves A’11 recorded mini-videos of participants answering the question, “Where would you be without Cooper?”

The CUAA Ad-Hoc Committee on the Associates continued the Oral History Project at the Peter Cooper Block Party. About a dozen alumni from every school shared their stories with Noemi Charlotte Thieves of their admittance to Cooper Union, what their favorite memories were, and what they have been up to since. Some applied in The Great Hall in the mid-fifties, others in the late eighties, one in the mid-forties, and one was a fourth-generation Cooper alumna, her parents, grandparent, and great-grandparent having graduated all through the twentieth century back to the class of 1892! The most difficult question for consideration was provided by Rocco Cetera CE’99. It was “How would you describe Cooper Union to someone who never attended it?” We know there are plenty of other alumni who would love to share their stories about Cooper on camera, so look out for us at future events! Contact us at

Peter Cooper’s Wiggliest Invention Celebrated in Jello Challenge

Photos from 2014 Jello Challenge

In the spirit of celebrating our founder’s inventiveness and creativity, The Peter Cooper Block Party served as venue for the first ever Peter Cooper Jello Challenge on Sunday, April 13. Cooper patented his gelatin dessert in 1845, and his wife, Sarah, provided recipes for the packaging.

Special guest judges were Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Julian LaVerdiere A’93 who received the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award at the morning festivities. The entries were as diverse as one might expect in a competition celebrating invention, ranging from traditional to whimsical to political commentary on the school’s recent tuition decision.

Barry Drogin EE’83 made a pointed observation about the new tuition plan in a conceptual display comprising two tubs of Jello — one full and one half full. By the end of the afternoon, the full scholarship jello model had maintained its structural integrity, but the unsustainable half scholarship jello model had collapsed on itself. “Full Tuition Scholarship is Sustainable” garnered an Honorable Mention.

Chuck von Schmidt A’73 skillfully crafted two Peter Cooper portrait medallions in maroon and gold Jello from a custom mold he’d fashioned several years ago. Judges commented that Cooper Union not only has school colors, but school flavors as well, and awarded Chuck’s entry Second Prize.

First Prize, and Block Party favorite by popular vote, was awarded to “Jello – The Most Important Meal of the Day,” a delightful, startlingly accurate recreation of a breakfast tray by Carol Wolf A’84. Bacon and eggs, tea with lemon, and even cream and sugar were fabricated entirely from Jello.

Based on the interest generated by this first event, the Alumni Association hopes to make the Peter Cooper Jello Challenge an annual competition with participation from alumni, students and faculty.

School News

Cooper Union Releases Figures for 2014 Admitted Students

The Office of Admissions has reported some preliminary incoming class information at the Cooper Union website. Read Report

End of Year Show 2014 Tuesday May 27 – Friday June 13

2014 End of Year Show Logo

This annual exhibition transforms the classrooms and studios of The Cooper Union into galleries showcasing work from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art, and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. Alumni are welcome to attend, please check the show schedule and put it on your calendar! Learn More

CU Motorsports Update

2014 CU Motorsports Team

On May 1, 2014, the Cooper Motorsports team will be hosting an exhibition to unveil our 2014 Formula SAE® racecar. The event will begin at 6pm in the Rose Auditorium at 41 Cooper Square. It is free and open to the public.

Two weeks later, we will head to Michigan International Speedway for the Formula SAE® competition. We will be up against 120 other teams from technical universities all around the world in a series of events that test the performance, resilience, and efficiency of both our vehicle and our team. Things have been going very well at our recent test days and we are excited about the competition on May 14-17, 2014.

We invite all alumni to attend the unveiling exhibition, and Michigan based alumni to attend the Formula SAE® competition. Learn More

Submitted by Daniel Back ME’15

NYCxDesign Events at The Cooper Union: Friday May 16 – Saturday May 17

The Cooper Union is a partner with NYCxDESIGN and Elizabeth O’Donnell AR’83, Associate Dean of The Cooper Union School of Architecture, is on its steering committee. NYCxDESIGN is taking place May 9-20, 2014 at venues throughout New York City. There are more than 300 design related events occurring.

The events include topics ranging from graphic design, architecture, and technology to urban design, fashion and product design, interior and landscape design, and furniture design. Two of the events, AEC Technology Symposium 2014 and AEC Technology Hackathon 2014, will be held at The Cooper Union. Learn More

Cooper Featured Prominently in New Documentary

At Sundance this past year, writer-director Andrew Rossi unveiled his new documentary “Ivory Tower”, an investigative work that delves into the student loan crisis and the rising cost of higher education in America.

The Pioneer: April 21 Edition

The April issue of the Cooper Pioneer includes articles on the recent Culture Show, the Peter Cooper Block Party for Founder’s Day 2014, the Cooper Nova Dance team and more.

Kudos to Yara Elborolosy CE’14, Chae Jeong ChE’16, Caroline Yu EE’15, and Anamika Singh A’17 on some great reporting. Please read the latest edition of the Pioneer. Read Now

Alumni in the News

2014 AIGA Medals Awarded to Three School of Art Graduates

Three graduates of The Cooper Union School of Art have been awarded the highest honor in the field of design, a medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The alums, Stephen Doyle A’78, Alexander Isley A’84, and Abbott Miller A’85, have been recognized for careers spanning decades and clients as diverse as Cooper itself.

Ancient Presence, Modern Projection, Torcello, Venice, Italy: June 6 – June 14

Projections of Torcello

Margaret Matz AR’83 and a team of researchers and collaborators have designed an immersive, multimedia exhibition concerning the survey and restoration of the historic and religious structures on the Venetian island of Torcello. Titled “Ancient Presence, Modern Projection: Torcello – Venezia, Italia.” Margaret’s firm, Milestone Architecture, PLLC is doing work in support of a restoration effort at a UNESCO Heritage site on the island of Torcello in Venice, Italy. They used 3D laser scanning technology and modern architectural software to document and preserve this historic site and then used that data to create exhibits that will be used to educate people about this site. The exhibits will be staged in NYC and in Venice at the Venice Biennale from June 6 – 14. The two sites will be connected via live-streaming video. When visitors enter the exhibits they will be immersed in a contemporary experience of the Venetian-Byzantine structures. The installations use physical objects, light projections and interactive software to engage the viewers. More info coming soon.

April Event Summaries

CU@ Thurgood Marshal Courthouse II March 25

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the CUAA hosted “An Evening at Thurgood” at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse (TMCH) on March 25, 2014. The first “An Evening at Thurgood” was held on December 3, 2013. That event was described in an article published in Architectural Record, and prompted requests for a sequel. The panel discussion on March 25 was moderated by CUAA President John Leeper AR’85, and the discussion covered adaptive reuse and lighting design aspects of the courthouse infrastructure renovation, recently completed by Beyer, Blinder and Belle architects. The U.S. Courts for the Second Circuit has graciously offered to host another event for Cooper Union Students.

This event was as well attended with about 43 people from The Cooper Union community present. The introduction was given by Karen Milton, Circuit Executive of the U.S. Courts for the Second Circuit. The panel of speakers consisted of Scott Teman, Architect for the U.S. Courts for the Second Circuit, who spoke about the pre-design condition of TMCH and Larry Gutterman, architect of Beyer, Blinder and Belle, who spoke about TMCH project design scope and goals, including lighting design that was addressed by Domingo Gonzales, Lighting Designer. Scott Teman and Larry Gutterman also discussed the constructability of the project design. In conclusion, the final perspectives of judges, architect, Lighting Designer, contractor were presented by Judge Dennis Jacobs et al.

This event offered an exclusive and rare insight into the process of designing and constructing a complex contemporary program within the constraints of the structure of an iconic and historic building. Professional development credits were available for participants. More Photos

CU@Lubalin Center: April 2

Alexander Tochilovsky AA’00 presenting on collection held at the Lubalin Center

The CU@Lubalin Center event took place on April 2, 2014. An intimate group of thirteen alumni and design professionals gathered in the Lubalin Center for an intriguing journey into the lives and work of acclaimed design alumni including Herb Lubalin A’39, Lou Dorfsman A’39, Milton Glaser A’51, Seymour Chwast A’51, Ellen Lupton A’85. Many thanks to alumnus, curator and adjunct professor, Alexander Tochilovsky A’00 who led the engaging discussion. Future events at the Lubalin Center are in the planning stages with the intention of exposing more alumni and students to this extensive collection of design works.

Cooper Goes West CU@California April 21 – 26

Alumni, parents and friends in five California cities got together last week to mix and mingle, network and connect around Cooper! First stop for representatives from Alumni Affairs & Development was San Diego, followed by Tustin, CA in the heart of Orange County on Tuesday, April 22. A larger event was held at Mas Malo, a restaurant in downtown L.A. on Thursday the 24th which included five newly admitted students to the School of Art. President Bharucha and Dean Dahlberg greeted the 40 guests in attendance and provided a warm welcome to our potential new students and an update on what’s new at Cooper. Alumni from all three schools were in attendance.

The representatives from the school moved north to Silicon Valley the following day and connected with colleagues at Stanford University. Wrapping up the day was a happy hour with about 15 alumni who live and work in the region. The final leg of the trip was a reception and SF Giants game on Saturday, the 26th. Again, we greeted the future of Cooper Union including an admitted student to the School of Architecture. Cooper alumni and friends cheered on the Giants to a win!

CU@Green-wood Cemetery April 27

Peter Cooper’s Grave Marker at Green-wood Cemetary

Alumni, their spouses, and parents of current students gathered on Sunday, April 27, 2014, for the inaugural visit to Green-Wood Cemetery to watch Peter Cooper spinning in his grave. In addition to viewing Peter Cooper’s burial site and memorials to his wife, children, and grandchildren, those gathered listened as short passages about Peter Cooper’s character, an excerpt from his eulogy, and a description of his funeral procession were recited. Attendees joined in singing of sad songs and a discussion of Peter Cooper’s life and the life of his descendants. Afterwards, many proceeded to the nearby Double Windsor for beer, hard cider, and burgers. Thanks to Barry Drogin EE’83 for organizing the event, Rocco Cetera CE’99 for handing out buttons and taking photos, and David Ellison AR’83 for flying in from Ohio to attend.