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School News

Working Group Plan Presented to the Board of Trustees

Trustees Mike Borkowsky, ME ’61, and Jeff Gural (Co­Chairs of the Working Group) were joined by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Ben Davis (Chair of the Academic Opportunities Sub­Group), alumnus Robert Tan, AR ’81 (Chair of the Administration and Compensation Sub­Group), Professor Diane Lewis (Chair or the Space Utilization Sub­Group), and two additional members of the Working Group, alumnus Barry Drogin, EE ’83 and staff representative Lawrence Mesich to present the Working Group Plan to the full Board of Trustees on December 11, 2013. In addition to answering questions from various Board members, Devora Najjar, ChE ’16, the first elected student representative to the Board, was there to provide a student viewpoint on the Working Group Plan and answer questions from the Board on its specifics.

Free since 1859

The Working Group has presented a persuasive plan for a sustainable, tuition-free Cooper Union.

We are calling on everyone who would give to a tuition-free Cooper Union to make a symbolic donation to the Annual Fund in multiples based on the founding year: 1859 (e.g., $18.59, x2= $37.18, x3= $55.77.. x 10= $185.90, x 100= $1859, etc).

To donate: – be sure to write “1859” in the comments section

To share:

New Alumni Trustee Kevin Slavin A’95 on the Trustee Meeting

Take 2 minutes to read the report.

I can add a bit of color commentary, and I’m saying all this quite personally as Kevin Slavin:

Faculty Student Senate Debates Code of Conduct Changes

On December 3, 2013 an open Student and Faculty meeting was held in the Great Hall concerning the new Proposed Code of Conduct that was distributed to the Cooper Community on November 22nd. The forum style discussion was led by the Exec. Committee of the Student Faculty Senate. They were Stanislav Mintchev, Atina Grossman and Mike Essl. During the December 3rd meeting, faculty and student speakers brought up concerns about the proposed code of conduct.

At the December 11 BOT meeting, it was agreed that Dean Baker and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Chris Chamberlin would undertake a consultative process with the Joint Student Council after the winter break to develop appropriate revisions that they can recommend to the Board of Trustees for consideration.

New Student Trustee Devora Najjar ChE’16

Devora Najjar ChE’16

I’m Devora Najjar, a sophmore Chemical Engineering student who also happens to be the Student Representative to the Board of Trustees. I am honored to have been given this position, and hope to use it to represent the full range of opinions in the student body on all matters pertaining to the school. I want to assure that the comments and concerns of the student body are being heard and addressed properly by using this position to help foster a channel of communication and understanding between the Board of Trustees and the students of Cooper. I would like to help bridge the gaps between the three schools, as well as between the schools and the trustees, in hopes of having a more effective and cohesive school that is run in the vision that Peter Cooper created for it. 

Alumni Profiles

Merideth Bergmann A’77

Meredith Bergmann, A’77, is a sculptor and poet.  She is well known for her monumental sculptures in bronze or resin which incorporate figures, stories and messages.  She has been commissioned by the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association to sculpt a memorial sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt titled “FDR Hope” for installation on Roosevelt Island. She was recently interviewed by Mary Lynch, ChE’82.

Maria Giudice, A’85

Maria Giudice, A’85, is known for her expertise in people centered design. She has spoken at numerous conferences including TEDxPresidio, SXSW and AIGA’s Design Conferences. She is co-author and designer of several award-winning books, including Elements of Web Design 1995, Web Design Essentials 2001, and The Rise of the DEO.: Leadership by Design 2013. She was recently interviewed by Mary Lynch, ChE ’82.

Damien Lopez, A’02,

Damien Lopez, A’02, is a storyboard artist with experience designing props, creating characters, and developing concepts for animation, video games, and comics. He is currently creating an interactive, animated, sci-fi experience that will be delivered via the internet, titled “Tell Me A Story…” He was interviewed via email, by Mary Lynch, ChE’82, about his current work which is being funded through KickStarter.

Alexander Tochilovsky, A’00,

Alexander Tochilovsky, A’00, is the Curator, Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography and is an Adjunct Professor, The Cooper Union School of Art. He was involved in the creation of, and currently teaches in, the new post-graduate certificate program in typeface design at Cooper Union, called Type@Cooper. Alexander is one of the editors of Herb Lubalin: American Graphic Designer (1918–81) by Adrian Shaughnessy. He was recently interviewed by Mary Lynch, ChE ’82.

December Event Summaries

December 17 2013 Council Meeting

Meeting Summary

President John Leeper AR’85 called the meeting to order. He welcomed all attendees and asked everyone present to introduce themselves. He then asked Nominating Committee chairperson, Karina Tipton, CE’99to present the names of alternates for CUAA Council seats that are open. She presented the names of 7 alternates that have been previously elected to the alternate position and stated that she has confirmed that these 7 are able and willing to fill the open seats. The Council voted to accept the new council members who are Ed Abaid CE’76, Jennifer Collins A’93, Zhao Feng (Jeffrey) Mah EE’04, Alvin Wald EE’55, Rachel Whitlow A’94, Kenny Yeung EE’94.

3 Members of the Working Group made a presentation on the proposals outlined in the Working Group report which was formally presented to the Board of Trustees on December 11, 2013. READ NOW. They were Barry Drogin, EE’83, Diane Lewis, AR’76, and Robert Tan AR’81. Trustee, Mike Borkowski, ME’61, then made a motion asking the Council to endorse the Working Group proposal. The motion was seconded by Carmi Bee, AR’67. It was discussed and then passed by a unanimous vote by the Council members present. The resolution states:
“Resolved, on this the 17th day of December 2013, the Council of the CUAA hereby endorses the Working Group proposal presented to the Cooper Union Board on December 11, 2013 to replace the imposition of tuition on the entering class in 2014 and subsequent undergraduate classes. We pledge to support efforts of the Cooper Union Administration to refine the Working Group Plan as needed to ensure that a sustainable financial plan is maintained and we will assist in every effort to implement that plan and ensure that it achieves its objectives.”
The Annual Fund Update was given by Alumni Fund Committee co-chairs: Darrell Low, EE’89 and Kelly Smolar, ME’07, with Director of Annual Fund, Joseph McDonald. The Annual Fund for this school year has $850,000. Which is 1% ahead of the Annual Fund amount for the same time last year. Nils Anderson, A’94, presented on the 1859 Campaign. This is a new Alumni initiated fundraising campaign which Nils is spearheading and which is endorsed by the CUAA. Information is available at
Architecture students, Austin Mayer, AR’17 and Che Perez, AR’14, discussed the 1 Year Fund. 
Vice President/Alumni Activities, Rocco Cetera, CE’99 and Events committee co-chair, Margaret Matz, AR’83 announced upcoming events. They include:
· Founder’s Day Planning Meeting 12/18/13
· Founder’s Day Event 04/13/14
· CU @ Lou Dorfsman’s Wall – Long Island, NY on Saturday, 1/11/14
· Panel Discussion about Peter Cooper to be held at the All Souls Unitarian Church on Sunday, 1/19/14 at 11:15 a.m.
· Alumni/Student Casual Sketching Event 1/26/14 (details pending.)
The meeting was attended by 42 attendees including 26 CUAA Council members.

Inaugural Holiday Party: December 11, 2013!


AICHE Career Day Panel: December 10, 2013

Alumni shown: Dr. Daniel Lepek ChE’04, Anthony Tantuccio ChE’10, Michael Wagner ChE’02,
Mary Lynch ChE’82, Brian Deutsch ChE’03

Cooper Union ChemE’s came together on December 10, 2013 at AICHE Career Day at the ChemShow in the Javitz Convention Center. They organized, moderated and participated in the panel discussion providing career advice to chemical engineering students. More than 50 students attended, representing The Cooper Union, City College, University of New Haven, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the United States Military Academy.

CU@Thurgood Marshal US Courthouse, December 3, 2013

26 alumni and guests attended “An Evening at Thurgood” at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse on December 3, 2013. The alumni present were graduates of all three schools. Attendees participated in a lecture, tour and elegant party hosted by the U.S. Courts for the Second Circuit. The courthouse building is innovative. It was the first skyscraper courthouse to be built in the USA and in the world. The courthouse has recently undergone an extensive infrastructure upgrade along with preservation of its extensive woodwork and stonework.

CUAA president, John Leeper, AR’85, who was the project manager for the upgrade, was part of the panel. Other panelists were Dennis Jacobs, Judge, US Courts for the Second Circuit; Lawrence Gutterman, Associate Partner, Beyer Blinder BelleJim Standish, Senior Vice President, WSP – F&K; Chris Hargrove, Executive Vice President, Cauldwell Wingate Company LLC. Karen Milton, Executive for the U.S. Courts for the Second Circuit, coordinated the magnificent event.

The lecture was followed by a tour of significant rooms in the building which included the circuit and appellate courts, the library, the interstitial mechanical floors, and concluded with a lively party and speech by the current Chief Justice, Robert Katzmann, who shared his vision for connecting this institution to the adjacent community by extending invitations to visit this iconic building. Attendees were able to earn 2 PDH hours for this seminar and tour. Alumni also enjoyed a reception which was held after the tour.

Cooper Union Alumni Association News

The next Founder’s Day event will be on Sunday, April 13th, 2014. It is slated to be the largest Alumni event of the year, with plans to bring in 1000+ attendees throughout an inclusive, all day street fair filled with workshops, vendor booths, music performances, and food trucks. Our mission is to strengthen Cooper Union’s relationship with the local community, showcase the exceptional value of Cooper Union Alumni, and raise funds to support the school’s mission of free education. We are looking for volunteers to help make the event happen. If you are interested in joining our team, please email with some information about yourself and we will gladly get back to you with more info and the dates for our next interest meetings.

Are You Interested in Serving on the CUAA Council or Do You Know Someone Who Would Be Perfect For The Job?

The Cooper Union Alumni Association provides a vital link between the alumni body and the institution – preserving, protecting, and promoting The Cooper Union. Each alumni council serves a three year term, meeting throughout the year as a body and on committees to meet the mission of the Alumni Association. Additionally, officers of the council are elected each year — as is an Alumni Trustee who sits on the Board of Trustees. More information about the CUAA Council found here

The Nominating committee will meet to review all nominations received and will propose a slate of candidates for council and officers to the Council for approval by vote in February. Additionally the nominating committee will work with the executive committee to select an Alumni Trustee, also to be proposed to the Council for approval by vote in February. Look for a ballot in your inbox or mailbox in April.

Please send your nominations with a brief bio and their contact information to We appreciate your help finding the best slate of candidates to serve Cooper Union!


THANK YOU to the many alumni who volunteered their pro bono professional time and skills to The Cooper Union Alumni Association Advisory Services (CU3AS). IT IS MOST APPRECIATED.

There still is need for others to also offer a limited amount of hours to the CU3AS. This will permit preliminary guidance to be offered to more firms and agencies, leading to more voluntary donations to CU.

If you are willing, please email us at, including areas of technical expertise, contact information, and a resume if readily available. A draft Mission Statement is located on our Group Webpage.

Ongoing social media discussions on the Working Group, Cooper history, Code of Conduct, News and more! Also: share your blog with us so we can highlight it for you!

December Social Media Summary

Ongoing social media discussions on the Working Group, Cooper history, Code of Conduct, News and more! Also: share your blog with us so we can highlight it for you


The Cooper Lumen Design Challenge is an innovative, cross-disciplinary design challenge for students at Cooper Union, aimed at creating a working prototype for a solar-powered public WiFi hotspot. Unlike other solar powered products, the “Cooper Lumen” will uniquely combine the functions of providing public wireless internet, emergency lighting, and a charging station for computers and mobile devices. The semester-long design initiative will commence in January 2014, and will include students from the Cooper Union schools of Art, Architecture, and Engineering.

If you have a campaign that you would like highlighted, please contact either the main Alumni Office or the Communications Committee group emails, or post it on the Alumni Facebook Page or the Alumni LinkedIn Page!

Upcoming Meetings

CUAA January Council Meeting


CU@Lou Dorfsman’s Wall – Long Island NY


View an acclaimed artwork by Lou Dorfsman, as it is being restored by master craftsman, Nick Fasciano, in is studio, prior to its being relocated to its new permanent home in Connecticut. Refreshments will be provided. 12:00PM – 4:00PM

Panel Discussion About Peter Cooper

Join alumni at All Souls Unitarian Church at 11:15AM for a discussion of the life of Peter Cooper.

Alumni & Student Casual Sketching

Join fellow alumni and students for casual sketching. More Info. Soon

Florida Founder’s Day

Save the date and celebrate Founder’s Day with fellow Florida alumni. 2/16/14

Texas Founder’s Day

Calling all Texas area alumni! Join us at the Hyatt Regency Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio to celebrate Founder’s Day.