Barack Obama Speaks at The Cooper Union

June 01, 2008

Cooper Union Stock Photo

Barack Obama, U.S. Senator from Illinois and, at the time, one of two candidates for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, made a major economic policy announcement in the fourth program of The Cooper Union Dialogue Series on March 27. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, introduced by Dr. Ronald W. Drucker (CE’62), chairman of our Board of Trustees, introduced the senator. Obama spoke about confronting the current housing crisis and strengthening the regulatory system governing American financial markets. He described six principles to guide the legal reforms of the regulatory system. He said, “…we have to make government responsive once again to all of the American people…. I know that making these changes won’t be easy. I will not pretend that this will come without costs, although I have presented ways we can achieve these changes in a fiscally responsible way. I believe in PAYGO. If I start a new program I will pay for it…. But if we unite this country around a common purpose, if we act on the responsibilities that we have to each other and to our country, then we can launch a new era of opportunity and prosperity.” The event was reported in top tier outlets across the nation as well as local press, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, The New York Sun, Chicago Tribune, CBS Marketwatch, NY1, New York Post, New York Daily News, WABC-Ch.7, WNBCCh. 4 and WCBS-Ch.2.

  • 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.