2016 Founder’s Day Award Winners Announced.

Eric Drooker self PortaitThe Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award winner is 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. He won the American Book Award for Flood! A Novel in Pictures, soon followed by Blood Song: A Silent Ballad and Howl: A Graphic Novel. He was the Animation Designer for the film, “Howl,” and he was later hired by DreamWorks Animation.

Drooker gives frequent slide lectures about art, politics, and the changing urban landscape. His dramatic slide presentation is a much-beloved event at colleges and universities internationally.




Jackie YingThe Gano Dunn Award winner is 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.

Prof. Ying has been recognized with numerous awards for her research on nanostructured materials for catalytic, biomedical, diagnostic and energy applications. She was elected a member of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was named one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era” by American Institute of Chemical Engineers in its Centennial Celebration. Prof. Ying was the inaugural winner of the Mustafa Prize “Top Scientific Achievement Award” in 2015 for her research in bio-nanotechnology. The laureate of this science and technology award receives a medal and US$500,000 in prize money. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Nano Today.




Elizabeth O'DonnellThe John Q. Hejduk Award winner is 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. Her recent participation in conferences, juries and design reviews, both nationally and internationally, includes: the Bamiyan Cultural Center Design Competition (UNESCO Afghanistan); the Alvar Aalto International Café (Jyväskylä, Finland); Imagining America National Conference (New York); The World Energy Forum (Dubai). She has served as Public Director for Educational Affairs on the AIANY Board of Directors, serves on the Scholarship Committee of the Center for Architecture Foundation and on the Executive Committee for the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival. Her architectural practice has emphasized the adaptive re-use of existing buildings for schools, non-profits and residences. She has also worked with artists to realize major site specific projects. Awards include Design Excellence from the AIANY and Design Distinction from International Design magazine. She is on the advisory board of the design and construction web venture “Sweeten” and is a member of the Zoning Commission for the Town of Taghkanic, New York working to develop a local zoning code to foster economic growth while sustaining rural character and the extraordinary natural resources of the town.



Rich Gnagey thumbnailThe Peter Cooper Public Service Award winner is Richard Gnagey CE’70.  Following graduation from The Cooper Union School of Engineering in 1970, Rich joined the Peace Corp where he did work in Thailand, 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, where he has helped build infrastructure projects using local materials and people. Rich began his work in Indonesia in West Java. He later worked in the Central and East Java provinces. Rich designed and delivered technical training for nontechnical field staff, most of whom had previously been volunteers in villages. Rich and his team trained hundreds of 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. Rich Gnagey joined the World Bank-funded Village Infrastructure Project, as a Team Leader in 1995 where he created manuals, trained all the engineers assigned to the field, and determined the best procedures to use. Rich has continued in ministry village infrastructure programs from 2001 until now. After the December 2004 tsunami flooded Aceh province killing 200.000 people, he spent at least a week every month in tsunami-inflicted areas. This work continued for 18 months.   In 2003, Rich and 11 other engineers trained 228 local people in, the province of Papua to be technical facilitators. Rich led similar training in Timor Leste in 2013, training 187 participants.


March is Women’s History Month

Read about some remarkable women who graduated from the Cooper Union.

Georgina Davis, A 1901,  studied  Art at the Cooper Union.  She was a prominent nineteenth century illustrator, painter and etcher. Georgina Davis worked  as a commercial artist for over thirty years, at a time when few women were able to pursue independent careers in the arts. Her illustrations appeared in the Salvation Army newspaper, children’s books published by the McLoughlin Brothers, and in the major nineteenth century weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  Read More

Krasner, Lee - Photo from Bio Resource CenterLee Krasner A’29 is a an artist that was at the forefront of Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  Her work gained major notice during the 1970s coinciding with the rise of feminism.  Lee Krasner managed Jackson Pollock’s career during the time of their marriage and oversaw the continued showing of Jackson Pollock’s work after his death.  Some major retrospectives of her work were given at Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1965, and Whitney Museum of American Art, 1973-74.  Read More




12-2011 newsletter Elanore PettersenEleanore Pettersen, FAIA, AR’41, was the first woman presented with a Presidential Citation by the Cooper Union, in 1965.  She helped lead the way for women in her profession. In 1985, she became the first woman elected president by the New Jersey Society of Architects. After graduating from Cooper Union she worked as the apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona and Wisconsin. From 1946 to 1950 she worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority, designing power service buildings and visitor’s facilities. In 1950 she became one of the first women to be licensed as architects in New Jersey and in 1952 she established her own architectural practice in Saddle River, NJ.  Read More



Dodd-Lois-1Lois Dodd, A’48 is acclaimed for her paintings of the New England landscape.  She was one of the founders of the Tanager Gallery, which was integral to the Tenth Street-avant-garde scene of the 1950s where artists began running their own coop galleries. From 1969-1976, she exhibited at the Green Mountain Gallery.  Lois taught at Brooklyn College for 21 years (1971 to 1992) and she taught at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where she served on the Board beginning in 1980.  She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and of the National Academy of Design. Read More


Informal Discussion with Three Trustees was held March 9, 2016

trustee image 5CUAA President Nils Folke Anderson and Adrian Jovanovic (Alumni Trustee), Peter Katz (Alumni Trustee), and Eric Hirschhorn (Trustee) had an informal talk with alumni in room 215 of the Foundation Building on March 9th.  A more formal trustee forum is being planned.  Learn More





PHONATHON 2016  was held March 14 – March 16, 2016

phonathon studentsOn Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, March 14 -March 16, alumni, parents, students, and trustees gathered in 41 Cooper Square for the annual Phonathon to benefit the Annual Fund. 37 volunteers cheerfully made phone calls to Cooper Alumni and Cooper Parents.Over $17,000 was raised in credit card donations, plus about $25,000 in pledges, from 91 generous Cooper alumni and parents. The CUAA wishes to thank both the volunteers and the donors for supporting Cooper Union, as well as the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development for organizing the event.

Learn more about the Phonathon and more photos here.


Annual CUAA Spring Election is in progress

2016 CUAA Council Election 2 (1)Each year, the CUAA membership elects new officers, including an Alumni Trustee, and elects 1/3rd of the council members.  The membership also elects the members of the Nominating Committee.

Learn About the Candidates by reading Bios and attending Meet The Candidate Night on April 11, 2016

This year the CUAA membership will be voting on a new CUAA Constitution.  During last year’s election the membership voted to organize the CUAA as a Non-Profit Corporation.  This will allow the CUAA to accept tax-free donations.  The new proposed constitution includes additions required for tax exempt status described in Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code.  You can download a copy of the proposed CUAA Constitution here.  2016 Proposed CUAA Constitution

Are You Registered to Vote? Are your Alumni Friends?

If you have voted in either of the last two elections, you are registered. If you need to register on, you can do so here: Register before April 23rd.  Ballots are being sent electronically, so check your email.

Coming Events

March 30, 2016 – CUAA Council Meeting

The next meeting will be held in Room 201+201A of 41 Cooper Sq., New York, NY 10003. RSVP Here.

April 7, 2016 – Pathways to Careers in Finance.

Opportunity for Students considering careers in finance to network with alumni.  Learn More

April 11, 2016 – Meet the Candidates 6 – 9 PM

Location: Rose Auditorium in 41 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003
Hosted & Moderated by: Wes Rozen, AR’05
This is an opportunity for alumni to meet, and ask questions of, the alumni that are running in the ongoing CUAA Election.

May 24, 2016 – Commencement

More Details Here.

June 2, 2016 – Founders Day 2016 Award Ceremony

At the awards ceremony, CUAA awards are presented to the winners of the Gano Dunn, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Q. Hejduk, Peter Cooper Service, and Outstanding Alumnus awards. More to Come

Reunion Weekend June 3rd – June 6th

On Friday, enjoy a presentation in Rose auditorim and cocktails on the Alumni Rooftop Terrace. On Saturday, participate in one of the reunion luncheons. Take a tour of the school buildings. Meet the Deans and see what’s happening now in Cooper classrooms.Saturday Night, take a Cruise around Manhattan on the Spirit of New York! Finish the weekend off with Sunday Brunch and a CUAA Block Party.

List of Events

Reunion Weekend will be the first weekend in June. Members of the class of 1966 will be celebrating their Golden Legion. Several other classes will be marking milestones as well.  It takes many volunteers to organize a memorable reunion. Are you interested in helping. use this form to let the Cooper Union Alumni Affairs and Development Office know. Sign-Up

June 5, 2016 – Founder’s Day Block Party

The third annual CUAA Founder’s Day Block Party will be Sunday, June 5, 2016.

School News

Engineering Career Fair

On Tuesday, March 1st more than 40 institutions were represented at a career fair in the Great Hall. 250 students attended.  Several alumni were seen at the fair.  Learn more


Typographics, a typography conference will be held on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18.  The event is organized by Cooper’s Type@Cooper  Learn More


Alumni accomplishments featured prominently on our website… Please take a look!

Share your accomplishments by posting them on The Official CUAA FaceBook page and LinkedIn Group

Useful Links

All editions of the CU Student Newspaper, The Pioneer, can be read on-line.

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