Founder’s Day 2015

Written by: Yinna Wang, CE’05 and Mary Lynch ChE’82.  Photos by Philip Brandon, A’73, Mary Lynch ChE’82, Sean Cusack BSE’98 and Maureen Rozanski

The Annual Founder’s Day Celebration was held on April 26th, 2015 .

It began with a brunch in the atrium of the Great Hall.

Founder's Day Brunch

Founder’s Day Brunch

Jacob Alspector AR'72 and Gloria Simoneaux A'74

Jacob Alspector AR’72 and Gloria Simoneaux A’74

Rocco Cetera, Mary Lynch, Karina Tipton

Rocco Cetera CE’99, Mary Lynch ChE’82, Karina Tipton CE’99








The Award ceremony was held in The Great Hall and was moderated by John Leeper, CUAA President.


CUAA President, John Leeper AR’85 opened the ceremony

Alumna of the Year, Mary K. Lynch ChE'82

Alumna of the Year, Mary K. Lynch ChE’82



Young Alumna of the Year, Yinna Wang A'10

Young Alumna of the Year, Yinna Wang A’10

Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award winner, Leonardo Drew, A'85

Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award winner, Leonardo Drew, A’85



John Q. Hejduk Award Winner Evan Douglis AR’83


Gano Dunn Award Winner, Paul Strausmann

Gano Dunn Award Winner, Paul Straussmann CE’53


Peter Cooper Service Award Winner: Gloria Simoneaux A'72

Peter Cooper Service Award Winner: Gloria Simoneaux A’74

2015 Block Party Art Table

2015 Block Party Art Table


Ribbon Cutting by CU President Bharucha Jamshed and CUAA President John Leeper

The 2nd Annual Peter Cooper Block Party began with a ribbon cutting.


Alexis Lenza CE’05



The stage was busy with performances by Cooper Union music groups, Cooper Tones, Cooper Nova, and Cooper Union Ballroom Dance Club.







Cooper Nova

Cooper Ballroom Dancers

Cooper Ballroom Dancers

Over 1000 attendees enjoyed various exhibits from alumni and student groups representing Art, Architecture, and Engineering.

Back by popular demand were the Daddy Long Legs Blues Band playing catchy hits, with alumni Nick Agneta on the drums.

Nick Agneta, AR'80

Nick Agneta, AR’80

The Jello Challenge returned, with on-site jello carving for adults and kids of all ages and a variety of prizes. Competitors were given carving tools in the form of Unitensils, supplied by fellow alum Theo Steward-Stand of FoldItFlat.

Winners of the Jello Carving Contest

Winners of the Jello Carving Contest

Other popular activities included free t-shirt screening from the folks at Works In Progress, outdoor ping pong, and The Yoga Space, offering free yoga classes and sponsored by VitaCoco.

On the food front, Block Party participants chose from several delicious options. The Snowday Food Truck was back offering delicious maple-syrup inspired snacks. Kaya NYC’s asian inspired buns and addictive popcorn chicken was a big hit, as well as LaBellaTorte’s delicious Italian deserts and coffee.


Also returning from last year were alumni exhibits from Milestone Architecture, Cooper Lumen, RAMESSES and SociaLite.


Steven Lerner ME’75 and Margaret Matz AR’83



Ray Tillman CE’57 and Margaret Matz AR’83


Kay Nordstr0m, ME’77

Rodi Gallery opened it’s doors to reveal a new art exhibit, and student group Origami Club displayed their delightful creations. New to the event was The Cooper Union History Project, lead by alum Barry Drogin and joined by Cooper Archives, the library resource at Cooper Union. Also new was Rock The Vote, bringing awareness of the recent CUAA election and encouraging participation in choosing the next generation of leaders within the Alumni Association.

Each year, the Block Party has featured a panel discussion, inviting key members of the Cooper community to speak about interesting current topics. Last year the panel focused on Invention and Innovation. This year the  Founder’s Day Awardees were invited to speak about their personal achievements, advice for life after Cooper, and the importance of their education. The moderator for this panel was Ed Abaid CE’76. The panelists were Leonardo Drew A’85, Evan Douglis AR’83, Mary K. Lynch ChE’82, and Yinna Wang A’07.

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion:  Ed Abaid CE’76, Evan Douglis AR’83, Yinna Wang A’07, Leonardo Drew A’85, and Mary Lynch ChE’82

Audience for panel discussion

Audience for panel discussion


Nils Folke Anderson A’94, Curtis B. Wayne AR’75, Darrell Low EE’89, Peter Ross A’78, Nick Agneta AR’80

With the final song from the band, another Block Party wraps up on Astor Place. We thank all of our supporters, volunteers, and planners. We couldn’t have done it without you!


More Photos

More More Photos

See The Cooper Union Hall of Fame