Message of Reflection

Dear Cooper Union,

As we pause this week to take a break and gather with family and friends or take time for ourselves, I am giving thought to our sense of place as an institution, located as we are on the ancestral home of the Lenape, a diasporic people who have stewarded this land for generations and who remain deeply connected with it.

I’m also reflecting on my deep sense of gratitude for all of you and the community that is The Cooper Union, particularly as we witness so much challenge in the world. At the start of the semester, I said I hoped we could offer each other comfort alongside discovery, and the productive connections I’ve seen fostered since then have been nothing short of inspiring. I am grateful for the hard and thoughtful work of our faculty, staff, and students; the diversity of this great city and all that it affords us to pursue a culturally rich and engaged life; and the community we work to build together every day.

At the same time, I know that the news and messages we are surrounded by externally often feel overwhelming—from global tensions, war, and economic pressures to growing extremism, historic protests to fight against repression, and tragic gun violence. There is no easy way to grieve the horrible shooting in Virginia this morning or the devastating hate crimes happening all around us, including the one that shook Colorado Springs over the weekend and targeted a space where members of the LGBTQIA+ community felt safe and protected, on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance. As we honor the memory of the lives lost, let us find appreciation in the strength and refuge we can offer one another and not be afraid to seek support from our Cooper family. The care and compassion you show and the unique perspectives you bring to examining and processing these difficult issues together are as essential as ever.  

As the fall semester at Cooper begins to wind down, all the work of the past three months is coming together.  Remember to take this moment to rest, recharge, and look with appreciation to those around you.

Enjoy your well-deserved time off. I look forward to seeing everyone next week as we embark on the home stretch of the semester.

With gratitude,


  • 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.