Letter from CUAA President, Paul Nikulin

Dear Fellow Alumni,

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read the newsletter, and for getting informed about current events and accomplishments of our alumni, as well as updating your calendars with all of the upcoming events!

With classes on the way and student orientation already what seems like months behind, we have had a busy year. We held our CUAA Retreat in July and our first council meeting two weeks ago; the work has began. Last week, the Board honored its commitment to transparency and accessibility by holding a spectacular Alumni Trustee Mixer at the World Trade Center, where informal networking was followed by two alumni presentations and we were once again reminded about how amazing Cooper graduates are. We are on our way and hope that you join us in our effort to engage with and bring value to our alumni and friends.

We have a full calendar for the coming month:

  • Mock Interview Night (Oct 4th)
  • Conforming to the Grid, an East Village walking tour with Jack Eichenbaum Tour (Oct 7th)
  • Javits Center Green Roof Tour (Oct 13th)
  • Ringwood Manor Tour (Nov 4th)
  • Other Events and Exhibitions at Cooper   Events

Beyond engagement, I encourage everyone to focus on the key elements of our plan to return to free and the role we can all play. CUAA stands with Cooper Union and the Board of Trustees in its support of the Plan to Return To Free and its critical that we keep this in the forefront of our minds as we consider our time, resources and giving priorities. Please help CU in exceeding its fundraising aspirations for a second year in a row and lets continue to build on the successes of last year.

The CUAA started a new Year on July 1, 2018.

Welcome to our 2018/2019 CUAA officers:

  • President:  Paul Nikulin CE ’06 ,
  • Alumni Trustee: Cristina Aguirre-Ross AR ’81
  • Secretary:  Mary K. Lynch ChE ’82
  • Treasurer: Stephen Verderese EE’84
  • Vice President Faculty-Student Liaison: Margaret Matz AR’83
  • Vice President of Events:  Kelly Occhiuzzo Zack A’90
  • Nominating Committee Chair :  Kay Nordstrom

May CUAA Council Meeting was held May 28, 2018

The final CUAA Council meeting for the 2017/2018 school year was held on May 28, 2018.    16 council members and 5 guests attended. The meeting was held in 2 parts.  The first part was held at 30 Cooper Square, Alumni Office, and was part 1 of the Thankathon.  From 6 to 7 PM, council members made thank you calls to alumni who have donated this year.  At 7:25 PM, CUAA President Paul Nikulin CE’06 opened the business portion of the meeting.  The Election Results were announced.  That was followed by an announcement of the winners of the Alumnus of the Year and the Young Alumnus of the Year Award winners.  They were Nils Folke Anderson A’94 and Shankar Venkataraman BSE’03 respectively.  There was a discussion of plans for the The CUAA Awards Ceremony led by Laura Spinner A’89.  Then there was a recap of events held during May.  Paul Nikulin gave a recap of the End o Year Show Event and Cristina Aguirre-Ross AR’81 gave a recap of the Glass House Trip.  Paul Nikulin mentioned that both the Alumni Office and the CUAA would like to do more casual trips and casual events as a way of increasing alumni engagement and called for alumni volunteers to take the lead in organizing a casual event.  Paul Nikulin reminded all that tomorrow will be part 2 of the Thankathon.  Our next Alumni event will be the Peter Cooper Block Party which will be in September and will coincide with the Astor Alive Event.  CUAA Secretary Mary Lynch reminded all committee Chairs that their Year-end reports are due by June 30th.  Paul Nikulin then introduced a new item for discussion.  He proposed that the council send a letter to the alumni supporting the Trustee’s FEC Plan for returning to Tuition Free within 10 years.  A discussion ensued for approximately 20 minutes and ended with a decision to have a committee draft the letter by June 6th.  It can then be circulated for council members to vote on via email.  Paul Nikulin then thanked the CUAA leaders who were finishing their terms in June.  The meeting ended at 9 PM.

Link to alumni letter

Link to Video

September Council Meeting was held on September 12, 2018

The first CUAA Council meeting of the new school year was held on Sept. 12, 2018 in room 201 of 41 Cooper Square.  The meeting began at 6:30 PM  31 Alumni attended either in person or via teleconferencing.  CUAA President Paul Nikulin CE’06 announced that the CUAA has been awarded 501(c)(3)status by the State of NY.  This means that donations made to the CUAA are tax deductible going forward.  Paul Nikulin also announced the chairs for CUAA Committees.  Standish Lee AR’0  Presented a proposal for an alumni survey.  The proposal was well received and a committee was appointed to finish the development work on the survey.  The committee includes Standish Lee, Mark O’Grady A’76 , Mary Lynch ChE’82 and Mark Vasquez ME’88.   Victoria Sobel, Anton Wu and Yessio gave an overview of the plans for the Block Party which will be held on September 22.  More than 10 student and Alumni groups will have exhibits.  There will also be a free Bar-B-Q and volunteers are being sought to help with the grilling.  Paul Nikulin than announced the list of events that are planned for this fall.  (list later in this newsletter).  Carol Wolf A’84 gave a report for the Annual Fund Committee.  She said that the Fund collected $3,063,644 for the fiscal year ending July 30th 2018.  This is up from the prior year.  The increase is likely due to the Irma Weiss Matching gift program.  She said that the alumni participation rate did not increase.  It went from 21% to 20.9%.  Darrell Low gave a report on the CU on Wall Street Affinity Group.  They raised $370,000 for FY18.  Laura Spinner spoke about the 2019 CUAA Awards Ceremony.  She said that the date is not known yet.  It may be moved from Reunion weekend to an earlier date in the spring.  We are encouraging alumni to submitt nominations from now until October 15th.  The individual award committees are encourage to make their selections by early December.  Nils Folke Anderson A’94 gave a short summary of the work being done by the MOA committee and encourage other alumni to join the committee.  The calendar for council meetings for this year was distributed.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM

Link to Video

2018 Commencement

 Welcome to our New alumni! 

Commencement  Ceremonies took place on May 23, 2018.  1 Certificate in Art was Awarded and 71 Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to graduates of the Art School.  24 Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to graduates of the School of Architecture and 108 Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to graduates of the School of Engineering (Chemical – 25, Civil – 20, Electrical – 30, Mechanical – 33)

Master’s degrees were awarded to 13 graduates in Architecture and 37 graduates in engineering (Chemical – 4,Civil – 13, Electrical – 12,  Mechanical – 8).

We are thrilled to welcome them into the CUAA.  Congratulations on your achievements.  Link to video

Congratulations to the CUAA Service to the School Award Winners!

Each year the CUAA recognizes members of the graduating class who have provided outstanding service to the school.  The award winners are chosen by the Department Deans and by the Director of alumni Engagement.  The awards are presented to the awardees in a honor ceremony that occurs the day before graduation.  This year, Paul Nikulin,  CUAA President, presented the awards to:

Alfred Dudley III, Daniel Galperin, Dashiell Chrisner, Evan Shirley, Anushree Sreedhar, Rio Sofia De Gre, Andrew Pena, Yitzchak Yehoshua, Miles Barber.

Full list of Service Awardees

Presidential Citation Awardees

Presidential citations were awarded during the commencement ceremony by Cooper Union President Laura Sparks to the following Alumni:

Patty Jenkins A’93

SITU Studio—Basar Girit AR05, Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny AR05, Wes Rozen AR05, and Brad Samuels AR05

Marisa Lago PH’77

Read More








Design Intelligence Ranks the The CU School of Architecture as one of the Top 10 Architecture Schools in the US

On September 4, 2018, Architecture Record published the Design Intelligence annual ranking of US architecture Schools.  The Cooper Union was ranked as number 5!  Cooper Union jumped from number 15 last year.   Read More

2018 Cooper Union Invention Factory Prize Winners Announced

Invention Factory is an annual summer program where students conceive of and build prototype inventions that they present each week to guest evaluators many of whom are alumni. The 2018 Cooper Union Invention Factory culminated with the announcement of the First and Second Prize winners on August 28, 2018. Brian Chung EE’20 and Hannah Quirk ME’20, took home top prize in the sixth annual Invention Factory, standing in the winner’s circle with the big $5000 check for their invention, Twist-Talk, a portable communication aid for children on the autism spectrum.

Eric Lima, Brian Chung, Hannah Quirk and Alan Wolf


For the this year’s judges included: Eugene Briskman CE’64, Carmelle Cadet, Ben Itri EE’75, Hemant Kanakia, Ebele Kemery EE’007, Jimmy Kwong ChE;80, Stan Lapidus EE’70, Tricia Lee, Ron Mehta, Barry Negrin ME’89, Ron Slusky, and Ron Vogel ChE’01.  Learn More

Cooper Union has entered the Hyperloop Competition

Cooper Union engineering and architecture students have joined forces to design a pod to compete the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. This competition opened in 2015, and it invites students from all over the world to design the fastest pod. It takes place in SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where the pod prototypes travel in the 1 mile vacuum tube built by SpaceX.  The Hyperloop is a sealed tube through which a pod may travel free of air resistance,transporting people at high speed. It is expected to become the fifth mode of transportation, after land, sea, air and space- and also the most efficient.  The student need to raise $35K and are asking alumni for their support.

Read More



Cooper Union Athletics

The Winter Schedules for The Cooper Union Traveling Teams are announced.  Alumni are welcomed at all games.

Womens Basketball Schedule
Mens Basketball Schedule,
Womens Volleyball
Mens Volleyball

 2018 Founder’s Day Award Ceremony

The Young Alumnus of the Year was Awarded to Shankar Venkataraman BSE’03 by CUAA President, Paul Nikulin CE’06


Our annual Founder’s Day Ceremony honoring some of our most accomplished and most dedicated alumni was held the evening of June 1, 2018, in Rose Auditorium and a reception was held immediately following on the rooftop of 41 Cooper Square.  The Event was organized by the CUAA Awards committee led by Laura Spinner A’89.  Approximately 150 Alumni and friends attended.




 See Photos

Nominate an alumnus or alumna for a position on the 2019 Ballot

Nominations are being accepted for all position on the spring 2019 ballot.

To nominate yourself or someone you know, email contact@cooperalumni.org.  Include in the subject line Nomination for (include position).  In the body of the email include the name of the nominee and contact information as well as your name and contact information.  A member of the Nominating Committee will contact you/nominee for further information.

Nominate an alumnus or alumna for a 2019 Alumni Award!

Nominations will be accepted for the following Founder’s Day Awards until October 15, 2018:

Peter Cooper Service Award; Gano Dunn Award; John Q Hejduk Award; Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award.

2019 Founders Day Award Nomination Form


Glass House Trip

More than 60 alumni, family members and students braved the rainy weather and enjoyed tours of the Phillip Johnson designed glasshouse in New Canaan Connecticut on May 18, 2018.  The Event was organized and hosted by Cristina Aguirre-Ross AR ’81.

 Ice Cream Social Thursday, August 30

Approximately 150 incoming freshman met and networked with about 15 Alumni in The Great Hall Archive on August 30, 2018. Ice cream, cookies, and other snacks were served.  This social event followed a day of freshmen orientation activities.

Block Party September 22

CUAA  hosted the 5th Annual Peter Cooper Block Party on 4th Avenue on west side of the Foundation Building.  Astor Alive  had a simultaneous event in the Astor Plaza.

The Block Party featured student clubs, community groups, and alumni groups.  It also provides a chance to get up to speed on  Cooper Union developments.  There was  free family-friendly arts, crafts, games, and much more!

See Photos


 Alumni in the News

Hope Wade A’87  has been named a Woman of Excellence by the Alpha Academy Alumni Association and will be accepting an award from the Association in Kingston Jamaica this November.  Hope Wade A’87 has a dress in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Hope is a part of music history.  The red flute dress designed by Hope and worn by Academy Award Winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love is installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The dress — six yards of iridescent silk with taffeta petals and rhinestones —worn by (Mrs)Love while performing on the David Letterman Show in 2014 is now on display in the Cleveland, Ohio museum as part of an exhibit called Stay Tuned: Rock On TV, which opened May 25.  The multi-floor, multimedia exhibit, provides viewers with exclusive footage from Mike Meyers, Martha Quinn, Kelly Clarkson, Micky Dolenz, Kevin Eubanks, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Shaffer, and Darlene Love.   Read More

Meredith Bergmann A 77’s design was chosen for the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument.  These will be the first statues of real women to be located in New York City’s Central Park.  There were 90 submissions for the historic project.   Read More

Read about other alumni making the news.

In Memoriam



Sadly, we have lost several alumni during 2018

In Memoriam listing

Upcoming Events

Alumni Trustee Mixer September 25



During the past 3 years, several new people have joined the board.  Here is your chance to meet them.

All alumni are invited.

6 – 8 PM
7 World Trade Center, 10th Floor
250 Greenwich Street

Please register by emailing ortiz@cooper.edu


Mock Interview Night October 4

The Office of Alumni Affairs and the Center for Career Development are seeking art, architecture and engineering alumni to volunteer and help current Cooper students practice their interviewing skills for internships, employment and graduate school.

30 Cooper Square, 8th Fl.
5:30–8:30 p.m.
Food and refreshments will be served   Register

Conforming to the Grid, an East Village walking tour with Jack Eichenbaum ChE’63  October 7th

Alumnus Jack Eichenbaum Ph.D. ChE’63 will lead a walking tour where we learn about the geography of Manhattan’s 1811 grid plan, (The Commissioners’ Plan), highlighting how First-Ninth Avenues and First-Fourteenth Streets meshed with colonial era street patterns and vice versa.  The walk will begin at First Avenue/First Street and explore the East Village, the Bowery, Cooper Square, Astor Place, Stuyvesant Place, Broadway, and Lafayette St, ending at Cooper Union.



CU @ Chicago October 9

Michal Raz-Russo AR’01 & Zev Salomon AR’01 cordially invite you to a reception in their home with President Laura Sparks. Please join us for a conversation with the Chicago community about The Cooper Union and its future.

Tuesday, October 9 at 6:00PM  Please Register by October 5th



Javits Center Tour October 13

Take a tour of the Javits Center’s 6.75-acre green roof, the second largest of its kind in the United States! Home to 26 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honeybees, the green roof has become a sanctuary for area wildlife while helping to reduce energy consumption throughout the convention center on Manhattan’s West Side.

Saturday, October 13, 2018 beginning at  10:30AM
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center of New York



Pittsburgh Alumni Meetup October 28th

Alumni from around the world (attending AICHE national meeting) will join alumni from Pittsburgh and current ChE students for an evening of good food and conversation at Sienna Mercao a restaurant and Bar near the Convention Center.  Hosts for the evening will be Dan Lepek ChE’05, Mary Lynch ChE’82, and Shannon Pultz A’94.

Other Events and Exhibitions


The annual month long event, Archtober celebrating the great architecture of New York City, will kick-off on October 1st featuring hundreds of events, tours and exhibitions organized by more than 60 organizations and firms across all five boroughs.  Several alumni will be participating as hosts and speakers.   If you know of other events featuring alumni, please let us know by emailing contact@cooperalumni.com.

The Cooper Union will be included in an AIA Walking tour on October 13, 2018  Learn More

Each day of the month one sight of architectural interest located in the city is showcased in the media.  The Shed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro will be Showcased on October 26th.

For a listing of Events and Exhibitions hosted by The Cooper Union click here.


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