Irma Giustino Weiss’ Sesquicentennial Gift

POSTED ON: November 2, 2009

Irma Giustino Weiss, a 1945 alumna of the School of Art at The Cooper Union, just made a gift of $150,000, in honor of the college’s 150th Anniversary.

Mrs. Weiss’s pledge will go toward a full-tuition scholarship for one student for the duration of their Cooper Union education and toward new outreach to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students.Many students who have a Palestinian background fit into this category, and The Cooper Union will use part of the gift to support an enhanced recruitment effort aimed at such students. Irma Weiss is a member of the Peter Cooper Heritage Society, having contributed more than $1 million to the college in her lifetime, and the funder of two important student gifts—The Irma Giustino Weiss Prize, which permits the top graduating artist or architect to enrich their studies as they embark on a career, and the Irma Giustino Weiss Cultural Enrichment Fellowship, which provides cultural opportunities in New York City to art and architecture students.

  • 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.