Message from President Sparks about Cooper Union and DACA

Yesterday, we warmly welcomed our community back to campus just as President Trump announced his decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). As you may know, the DACA policy has allowed undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the U.S. as children, to remain in the country and obtain work permits.

We stand with all members of our community, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, always. To the DACA Dreamers in our community: We embrace you. We support you. We stand with you. We are stronger because of you. You are not alone.

For more than 150 years, the ideals of justice, fairness, diversity, inclusion, and a stronger union have been hallmarks of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. These values are as central to our future as they were when Peter Cooper first imagined the mission of this college in 1859.

Whether you are impacted by this change directly or indirectly, through friends or family, please know that The Cooper Union is committed to serving as a resource and will work to inform, support, and protect all of our community members. We also want to ensure that our community members know where to go for information on this issue. Makeda King-Smith, our Director of International Student Advisement, is a key resource for students on visas and other procedural matters. For any faculty or staff with concerns about immigration status, Natalie Brooks in Human Resources is available to answer questions. Additionally, our Student Affairs office is here to support every student. Led by Dean of Students Chris Chamberlin, the Student Affairs team provides services including counseling, housing assistance, career services, and academic support assistance. Within all of our legal rights, we remain committed to protecting the privacy of our students, staff and faculty.

We are a robust and diverse campus, and we celebrate our diversity. It is important that we take care of one another, and we will work to our utmost ability to advocate for our community members and provide guidance, support, and protection during this uncertain time.

With hope,


  • 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.