Founder's Day Award Reception honors Alumni Leaders

February 06, 2012

From left: President Jamshed Bharucha, Lee Skolnick, Carin Goldberg, John Leeper, Lisa Fischetti, Morton Lippmann Alumni Association President Peter Cafiero (CE'83) in the landmark Guastavino's John Leeper (AR’85) The scene at Guastavino's Lee H. Skolnick (AR’79) Cooper Union Stock Photo Emily Oberman (A'85) and Carin Goldberg (A'75)
From left: President Jamshed Bharucha, Lee Skolnick, Carin Goldberg, John Leeper, Lisa Fischetti, Morton Lippmann

Each year in February, Cooper Union honors the accomplishments of its alumni in an annual Founder's Day award celebration. This year the award ceremony took place at the historic Guasatvino’s in Manhattan. Situated under the arches of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, Guastavino’s features a dramatic landmark-designated interior in which we honored our four alumni of the year. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served to a crowd of alumni and friends as the institution honored five leaders in their respective fields.

John Leeper (AR’85) received the Alumnus of the Year award, an honor designated for outstanding dedication and commitment to both the Alumni Association and Cooper Union. In his professional life, Mr. Leeper is the Project Executive for the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse Renovation Project. He is Senior Vice President at Lend Lease (US) Construction LMB Inc.

The Gano Dunn Award for Engineering this year goes to Morton Lippmann (ChE’54), a Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Lippmann is a leader in the fields of human exposure assessment and air pollution health effects, and has authored or co-authored more than 330 research articles as well as two books.

The Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award for Art goes to Carin Goldberg (A’75), an educator, consultant and designer whose work can be found in several permanent museum collections around the world.

And finally, the John Q. Hejduk Award for Architecture goes to two recipients this year. The first is Lee H. Skolnick (AR’79), a widely recognized architect and designer who sits on the boards of various arts and design organizations and has published and lectured internationally on the topic of architecture and design. The second is being posthumously presented to Ralph Lerner (AR'74), an architect and former faculty of Princeton, Harvard, the University of Westminster, Polytechnic of Central London and the University of Virginia. Mr. Lerner's widow Lisa Fischetti accepted the award.

Above: Alumni association Presdient Peter Cafiero (CE'83).
  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.