Innovator Educator Jamshed Bharucha Inaugurated As 12th President of The Cooper Union

October 19, 2011

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The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art ushered in a new era for the esteemed 152-year-old institution with the inauguration of its 12th president, cognitive neuroscientist Jamshed Bharucha.  The ceremony took place in the historic Great Hall on October 18, 2011.

The academic procession crossed from the institution’s LEED Platinum academic building at 41 Cooper Square to its landmarked Foundation Building.  Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, India offered video congratulations and provided insight into the influence of our global community on education. Frances Fergusson, President Emerita of Vassar College, James Wright, President Emeritus of Dartmouth College and Lawrence S. Bacow, President Emeritus of Tufts University offered their impressions of President Bharucha, lauding his intellectual curiosity, capacity for innovation and ability to lead.  

Drawing inspiration from the genius of founder Peter Cooper, President Bharucha, standing at the lectern where candidate Lincoln spoke in 1860, pointed to “four areas that stand out as academic challenges and opportunities: fostering innovation, promoting access, serving the public good and embracing a global perspective – while maintaining the highest standards.”

President Bharucha, a classically trained violinist, joined violinist Andy Stein and other friends to perform selected movements from Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Mendelssohn's Octet. The award-winning Gallim Dance company also performed.

Mark L. Epstein, President of the Board of Trustees, formally invested the new president.  Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and President Emeritus, Brown University closed by offering his congratulations.

Fareed Zakaria of CNN, TIME and The Washington Post led a pre-inaugural colloquium on October 17.

Dr. Bharucha has been a pioneer in studying how the brain responds to music.  Prior to joining The Cooper Union, he was Provost and Senior Vice President of Tufts University.   Before joining Tufts, Dr. Bharucha spent his academic career at Dartmouth College.  He also served as a Trustee of Vassar College.

  • 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.