A Message from the Board Chair: October 16, 2020

To the Cooper Union Community:
This coming December, my role as a Trustee and my term as Chair of the Board of Trustees will be coming to an end.  I look forward to sharing more then but, in the meantime, I want to share some wonderful news as we begin to prepare for the transition.  
Despite many challenges, the future of Cooper Union is as bright as I have ever seen it.  Maintaining that positive momentum will require strong leadership and an unwavering commitment to Peter Cooper’s founding mission.  That’s why I am so pleased and excited to announce:  
Malcolm King EE’97 has been elected to serve as the next Chair of the Board and will begin his term at the Board’s annual meeting on December 9th.   Malcolm and I have worked closely together over the past 7 years, and I am confident that he will serve with distinction and lead the Board with integrity, compassion, and a single-minded focus on stewarding Peter Cooper’s legacy.  

The Board and President Laura Sparks agreed -- happily and enthusiastically -- to extend Laura’s employment contract to June 2024.  Laura’s leadership has been critical to our success as a school and a community and the school could not be in better hands.  

The Board elected two new Trustees – Jamie Levitt and Dana Hughes.  Jamie and Dana are relative newcomers to the Cooper family but they have made it abundantly clear that they understand and are committed to Peter Cooper’s founding vision.  You can find their bios here.

Fulfilling one of the requirements of our original Charter, Joseph Dobronyi, a descendant of Peter Cooper has agreed to serve for another year.  At times like these, we need all the Peter Cooper we can get.  

As we welcome new (and continuing) faces, we also bid farewell to a number of trustees – Kevin Burke EE’72 and Jeremy Wertheimer EE’82 stepped down earlier this year; and Tom Driscoll ME’77 and Taesha Aurora AR’21 will be cycling off when their terms end in December.  Thank you to Taesha, Kevin, Tom, and Jeremy for your dedication, commitment, and support.  Your participation will be missed but your leadership through some of our most difficult periods, will contribute to our success for years to come.  
Finally, I wanted to let you know that we finished Fiscal Year 2020 on budget and on track in our 10-year plan to return to 100% full tuition scholarships.  Even more impressive, our enrollment numbers for Fall 2020 exceeded our expectations given the many pandemic-related challenges.  Our progress is only possible because of the hard work, contributions, dedication, and support of every member of the Cooper family.  On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I say THANK YOU!! 
I look forward to sharing more as the year comes to an end, but I just couldn’t wait another minute to spread the good news!
Rachel L. Warren
Chair, Board of Trustees

  • 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.