2016 FOUNDER’S DAY ALUMNI AWARDS CELEBRATION ON JUNE 2nd
BLOCK PARTY TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 3rd
This year we will be celebrating our 135th Founder’s Day along with Reunion Classes ending in ‘1 and ‘6.
The Cooper Union Alumni Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 2nd 2016 at a ticketed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert evening event to be held at the Hamilton Fish House, an historic home built for Petrus Stuyvesant. Located on Stuyvesant Street one block east of 3rd Avenue, it has been a residence for The Cooper Union President and a space used for formal events. The CUAA Alumni Awards honor accomplished alumni in art, architecture, engineering, and for service, as well as Alumni and Young Alumni of the year.
Alumni being honored are:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award — Eric Drooker A’83.
Eric Drooker is a painter and graphic novelist. His intense graphics and provocative street posters are a regular feature of the global street art movement. His colorful paintings have appeared on dozens of covers of The New Yorker, and hang in numerous collections. read more
The Gano Dunn Award — Prof. Jackie Ying ChE’87.
Jackie Ying graduated B.E, summa cum laude from The Cooper Union in 1987. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Princeton University. She was a Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She is Executive Director of the Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore. She founded this national research institute, that includes 170 research staff and students, in 2003. read more
The John Q. Hejduk Award — Elizabeth O’Donnell AR’83.
Elizabeth O’Donnell, AIA, graduated from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union in 1983. She has been a member of its faculty since 1984, teaching the first and second years of the Structures sequence, in the Design III studio and in elective seminars. During this time she has also served as Associate Dean of the School of Architecture since 2002 and as Acting Dean between August 2013 and June 2015, working to support the school and its students and advise the college though a time of challenge and change. read more
The Peter Cooper Public Service Award — Richard Gnagey CE’70.
Richard Gnagey joined the Peace Corp in 1970 and began his career in Thailand, working there for three years as a rural engineer and then two years as a Peace Corps trainer. While in the Peace Corp, Rich helped dozens of villages, in Sakolnakorn Province, design and build infrastructure projects such as small dams and spillways. Rich next lived and worked in Indonesia for 36 years. Rich and his team trained hundreds of Indonesian government officials in how to check technical drawings, how to measure quality, and how to think creatively. Rich produced a manual on using vegetative erosion and landslide control, with input from forestry and conservation experts and local Public Works engineers. After the December 2004 tsunami flooded Aceh province killing 200,000 people, Rich spent at least a week every month for the next 18 months, assisting in tsunami-inflicted areas. read more
2016 Alumnus of the Year — Adrian Burton Jovanovic BSE ’89.
Adrian Jovanovic is co-founder and President of Committee to Save Cooper Union, which stepped in and legally challenged the tuition-charging expansionary direction set by then President Bharucha and the Board of Trustees from that period. Many of the stated objectives of the legal action paralleled CUAA resolutions on the subjects. The resulting settlement brokered by the NY Attorney General resulted in substantial reforms to transparency and governance, including requiring the board to plan for getting back to free tuition, installing a financial monitor and requiring the election of new Alumni Trustees. As a result of winning the alumni trustee election, Adrian serves on the Cooper Union Board of Trustees. read more
2016 Young Alumna of the Year is Kelly Smolar CE ’07 / ME’11.
Kelly Smolar has been active in the Cooper Union Alumni Association since her graduation from The Cooper Union. She began by participating in the annual phonathons and later by participating in the Communications, Nominating and Tellers committees of the CUAA. In 2015, she was elected chair of the Nominating committee and oversaw the nominating process for the special election held in the fall of 2015 for additional Alumni Trustees. She worked passionately on the 1859 campaign launched in 2014. She has consistently advocated for initiatives that support full merit scholarships for Cooper Union Students and has been an advocate for CUAA projects that benefit current students, such as the end-of year pizza parties, and modifying the CUAA constitution to allow CU Seniors to vote in the CUAA elections. read more
The Founder’s Day festivities will continue on Saturday, September 3rd with an all-day Block Party located on or near the Cooper campus.
Building on the last two years, and incorporating the vital energy of Non-Stop Cooper, recent Cooper graduates Victoria Sobel and Casey Von Gollan are collaborating with the CUAA Events Committee to lead the Block Party to a new level of fun and community engagement. Open to the public, we look forward to welcoming back all Alumni to celebrate the Cooper spirit with music, performances, food, family activities, student projects and groups. The EOYS (End Of Year Show) will be on display and public tours will be conducted by Cooper students.
Our new fall date of Saturday September 3rd, integrates with incoming student orientation, as well as giving us an extended timeline to invite your participation—from ideas which you haven’t had a chance to pitch to us yet, to volunteering on the day of, to fundraising, spreading the word, and to bringing your friends and family out on the day of!
If you would like to get involved with this event by helping with planning, facilitating a CUAA booth, and helping with set-up and clean up, please contact PeterCooperBlockParty@gmail.com We welcome your time and energy to help make this annual event better than ever!
If you would like to provide financial support for the block party, please visit this site. Peter Cooper Block Party