Announcing the 2019 Recipients of the CUAA Founder’s Day Hall of Fame Awards

Each of these awardees will receive their award and be inducted into the Cooper Union Hall of Fame on May 30, 2019.

Gano Dunn for Professional Achievement in Engineering

Marisa Lago Phy’77

Marisa Lago Phy’77 is the Director of the New York City Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission. Prior, she served in the Obama Administration as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development. Before serving at the Treasury, she was the President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Empire State Development Corporation, Global Head of Compliance for Citigroup’s corporate and investment bank, Director of the Office of International Affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and General Counsel of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Lago earned a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School (1982), and a B.S. in physics from Cooper Union (1977). More

John Q. Hejduk Award for Professional Achievement in Architecture

Joan Ockman Ar’80

Joan Ockman Ar’80 is an architectural historian, critic, and educator. Currently she is the Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and Visiting Professor at Cooper Union and Cornell. She served as director of Columbia’s Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture and a faculty member of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for over two decades. She began her career at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, where she was an editor of Oppositions journal and was responsible for the Oppositions Books series. Joan’s wide body of writing on architecture has been published in numerous anthologies, catalogs, and journals. Among her many publications is the award winning ‘Architecture Culture 1943-1968: A Documentary Anthology’ (1993). She was honored for Collaborative Achievement by the AIA in 2003 and named a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2017. More

Augustus Saint- Gaudens Award for Professional Achievement in Art

Meredith Bergman A’77

Meredith Bergman A’77 is a sculptor, poet and essayist. She works on both public monuments and on a private scale that explores issues of social justice, race, human rights and the human condition. She was chosen to create a sculpture of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, for the Central Park Literary Walk, the first time a sculpture of women will be on display in the Park. Her public works include: FDR Hope Memorial on Roosevelt Island, Boston Women’s Memorial, and Pinky a sculpture of enslaved child Sally Diggs for the Brooklyn Historical Society. Meredith has worked as Production Designer on five feature films. Her essays, reviews, and poems have been published in The American Arts Quarterly, Barrow Street, and The New Criterion to name a few. Through sculpture she takes the past and brings it to the present by addressing the concerns of modern life with her visual narrative. More

Peter Cooper Public Service Award for Exemplary Service to the Public.

Lyn Pentecost PhD A’70

Lyn Pentecost PhD A’70 is a serial social justice entrepreneur. She co-founded the Lower Eastside Girls Club in 1996 which has served over 16,000 girls, one-third of whom lives below the poverty line. In 2013, having raised $20 million, a new community center opened in lower Manhattan to benefit girls, their families and the greater community of NYC. She has a doctorate in Urban Anthropology from Temple University and taught as an adjunct professor at City University of NY and 10 years at NYU. Dr. Pentecost has served on the boards of several community organizations including, The Lower Eastside Hispanic Housing Coalition and is currently on the board of Camp Fowler in upstate NY. Her dedication and commitment to empowering individuals to develop, thrive, lead and be successful has improved countless lives, creating a better future for themselves and the wider community. More

Alumnus of The Year Award for Exemplary Service to The Cooper Union and The Cooper Union Alumni Association

Robert Tan AR’81

Robert Tan AR’81 is a Partner at Gerrard + Tan Architects and a fixture at The Cooper Union. He served as an Alumni Trustee on the Cooper Union Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2018 and, before that, in numerous roles as part of the CUAA Council, including the Annual Fund, Events, Communications, Constitution, and John Q. Hejduk Award Committees.

Robert has been an ambassador for the Cooper community on and off campus—he and his wife have hosted several celebrations for Cooper Union staff and students in their home. Robert also served on the Presidential Search Committee that selected Laura Sparks.

Robert has been integral in efforts towards a Return to Free. He chaired the Cooper Union Gural Borkowsky Working Group, which was given only four months to study the School’s finances and come up with an alternative to charging tuition. Robert next chaired the Cooper Union Free Education Committee (FEC), which, in conjunction with Board, developed the plan for returning the school to full tuition scholarships within 10 years. More