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The Class of 2012 Raises the Bar for Participation in the Senior Class Gift

POSTED ON: June 4, 2012

Jason Zeng and Christina Milone present the 2012 Senior Gift to President Bharucha

Jason Zeng and Christina Milone present the 2012 Senior Gift to President Bharucha

This year, Cooper Union is thrilled to announce that the class of 2012 raised a record-breaking $40,000 for the Senior Class Gift, exceeding their ambitious goal of donating $37,500, the equivalent of one full-tuition scholarship at Cooper.  

At The Cooper Union’s 153rd Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday, May 22, Senior Council members Christina Milone and Jason Zeng presented a $40,000 check to President Jamshed Bharucha.  This check represented the amount that the Class of 2012 raised through their ongoing Senior Gift campaign and the accompanying Senior Gift Challenge.  As of June 1, 2012, an amazing 95% of the senior class had participated in the Senior Gift.

How can I not give back to this institution?” said Rebecca Long (ChE ’12)I think it was a great idea on the Senior Council's part to have this goal for their classmates, especially in light of everything that we've seen unfold since the fall. I am blessed to have studied at Cooper and built the relationships I have with fellow classmates, alumni, faculty and staff.”

Carl Malings (CE ’12) added:  “It was important for me to give back to the school, since it's given me an invaluable education, and I want that opportunity to be available to others in the future as well.”

The class launched its campaign in late March, shortly after spring break, and gifts began pouring in almost immediately.  The seniors’ plan inspired alumni Charles Fan (EE ’95), Kenny Yeung (EE ’94) and James Wu (ME ’93) to extend a Senior Gift Challenge, which matched the first $5,000 raised by the senior class dollar-for-dollar, and provided an additional $100 for every 1% class participation the students reached.

Kenny Yeung explains why he wanted to support the students’ efforts with an increased contribution this year: “For me, education is the foundation to many possibilities and Cooper is the cornerstone. I got involved for a simple reason: To help preserve something that is important to me - and help ensure that Cooper will be important for many students to come!  The students’ fundraising effort should be encouraged, expanded and hopefully extended into their alumni years.  This is one concrete way to give back to the school that has provided much to many.” 

While the Senior Class Gift drive has already been a tremendous success, seniors are continuing their efforts to reach 100% participation. As Christina and Jason told their classmates during Commencement, donations from members of the 2012 graduating class will continue to count toward the Senior Class Gift through June 30, 2012. To see an ongoing list of the seniors who are supporting the Senior Class Gift, click here. To join in supporting Peter Cooper’s legacy with your own gift to the annual fund, click the link below.

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  • 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.