The Cooper Union Alumni Association (CUAA) welcomes the statements regarding the mediation of a settlement agreement between the Committee to Save Cooper Union (CSCU) and the Cooper Union Board of Trustees. The Cooper Union Alumni Association is encouraged by the news of this settlement agreement, which mandates increased alumni participation on the Board and the development of a strategic plan to return to the full scholarship model. As alumni, we are direct beneficiaries of Peter Cooper’s gift of free education, and understand—on a deeply personal level—the importance of the full tuition scholarship in making our alma mater a vibrant and unique environment for learning. Our most recent election results confirm that 98% of voting alumni support free education at Cooper Union.
As elected representatives of a diverse constituency, the CUAA Council maintained a neutral stance throughout the course of this litigation. However we have, by resolution, remained steadfastly committed to the preservation of Peter Cooper’s mission and vision, and have welcomed the efforts of the Office of the Attorney General. We are profoundly grateful to the OAG, the Board of Trustees, and the Committee to Save Cooper Union for laying a groundwork in this settlement agreement that seeks a path back to fulfilling Peter Cooper’s founding intent. Furthermore, we are humbled by and proud of the creative efforts, perseverance, and personal sacrifices made by countless Cooper Union alumni, students, faculty, and staff in the last four years in their endeavor to defend the legacy of Cooper Union.
We remain dedicated to our mission of serving The Cooper Union and all Cooper alumni, and are grateful that the new administration and the Board of Trustees share our desire to reestablish a robust working relationship between the school and the CUAA. We would like to thank the Office of the Attorney General for recognizing the Cooper Union as a national treasure, and valuing the CUAA’s role in its stewardship.
In the spirit of Peter Cooper’s “Union,” the CUAA stands united with the entire community, willing and ready to commence work on the immense challenge before us. We welcome this opportunity to provide additional alumni representation on the Board of Trustees, and pledge to do our part on the road ahead to restore the full scholarship model at Cooper Union.
This road begins with healing. We must find the courage and patience to hear one another and understand that our common ground is vast.
I end this message with a call to action. There are many ways we, as alumni, can support The Cooper Union: by donating time, money, or expertise, by joining a CUAA Committee or organizing an event, by mentoring a student or offering an internship, by creating an affinity group, or simply by encouraging other alumni to get involved. As we begin this new chapter in our school’s history, one thing is certain: Cooper Union needs us.
Nils Folke Anderson A’94