New Members of Peter Cooper Heritage Society Recognized

November 21, 2011

It is an honor and privilege for The Cooper Union to recognize the extraordinary contributions of our newest members of the Peter Cooper Heritage Society. Launched in June 2002, the Society recognizes supporters who have made gifts totaling $1 million or more during their lifetime. This is the highest honor the college bestows on its generous benefactors.

The newest members of the Peter Cooper Heritage Society for 2011 are Susan and Francois de Menil (AR’87), Joan Morris and Edward Durbin (EE’48), and Susan and Jack Rudin. Their enduring commitment helps sustain the unparalleled education in architecture, art and engineering that is the hallmark of The Cooper Union.


  • 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.