I speak proudly of my Cooper Union education and perhaps even more so about my Cooper Union experience. My education was rooted in the architecture studio environment, where I spent countless days and nights struggling to create and advance my own notions about design and architecture. My experience, on the other hand, was defined outside of the classroom – at tennis matches, on the ski slopes, on stage at the Culture Shows, in the crowd at Cafe Nights. This unanticipated yet appreciated balance between work and play did profound things for me then and continues to influence who I am now. Especially in consideration of the free education that I was the beneficiary of, doing more with less (or nothing) is something I strive to do personally and something I hope Cooper Union never loses sight of. What I want is a Cooper Union that seeks to preserve and enhance the educational and social atmospheres which prove how unique its students can be. I want this to be done while maintaining the tuition-free model however I am open to understanding what challenges exist to this goal. Should tuition in some form be necessary, my belief is the students should benefit from any tuition just as much as, if not more than, the institution.
My name is Daren Rogers. I’m a graduate of the School of Architecture, class of 2005. I live in Montclair, NJ with my beautiful wife and own a general contracting business, Wyanoke Builders, and a custom cabinet dealership, Plain & Fancy Montclair. While a student a Cooper, I was a member and captain of the Varsity Tennis Team, captain of the step team, member of Student Council and participant in the annual ski trips to Mont Sutton. After Cooper, and before starting my company, I managed $250M of renovations to educational, financial and office spaces with The TLM Group and then spent 18 months as an independent consultant managing the renovation of an 18,000 square foot penthouse in New York City. To this day, I remain heavily involved with Cooper Union as an Assistant Athletic Director and Tennis Coach.