Financial Services Affinity Group Hosts a Spring Happy Hour

POSTED ON: June 6, 2012

Members of the host committee with President Jamshed Bharucha and Chairman Mark Epstein
Members of the host committee with President Jamshed Bharucha and Chairman Mark Epstein

On Thursday, May 31, 2012 Cooper Union’s Financial Services Affinity Group hosted its first-ever happy hour.  Nearly 60 guests - including alumni and students - gathered in the Peter Cooper Suite to network, enjoy refreshments and engage in a candid conversation with President Jamshed Bharucha. 

At the event, President Bharucha gave an overview of Cooper’s financial situation, inviting TC Westcott (Vice President – Finance, Administration and Treasurer) and Derek Wittner (Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development), to comment.  He also introduced the “hybrid model,” a strategy for fee-based graduate programs recently proposed by the Revenue Task Force.  Alumni and students had the opportunity to ask questions, which were answered by President Bharucha, Ms. Westcott, Mr. Wittner and Mark Epstein (Chairman, Board of Trustees).    

The event was also an opportunity to celebrate the Financial Services Affinity Group’s many important contributions to Cooper this year.  The group led a fundraising campaign that has generated nearly $255,000 for the Annual Fund so far.  In addition, three members of the group - Charles Fan (EE ’95), Kenny Yeung (EE ’94) and James Wu (ME ’93) – organized the Senior Gift Challenge, which incentivizes student participation in the Senior Gift.  The Senior Gift and Senior Gift Challenge have raised $40,000 to date. 

After the program, alumni and students enjoyed a networking reception in the beautiful spring weather on the outdoor terrace.  Jamshed Bharucha and Mark Epstein remained to answer questions, and several alumni had the opportunity to share their ideas with the President and Chairman.  The event also helped students build their networks. “I enjoyed meeting the alumni,” said one student. “It was great to learn about their careers and make connections.”

The happy hour was organized by Financial Services Affinity Group co-chairs Ray Falci (ME ’86) and Eric Hirschhorn (ME ’89). Rohan Chauhan (IE ’09, MCE ’10), Jeff Hersch (EE ’87), Malcolm King (EE ’97), Barkha Kumar  (IE ’10), Ming Lai (EE ’95), Darrell Low (EE ’89), Anastasia Rudman (BSE ’04), Kenny Yeung (EE ’94) and Jack Zar (EE ’90, MEE ’94) served on the host committee.  We are especially grateful that Ray Falci, Jeff Hersch, Eric Hirschhorn, Malcolm King, Ming Lai, Darrell Low and Jack Zar made donations to underwrite the cost of the refreshments.

The Financial Services Affinity Group organizes professional development programs for Cooper students and alumni.  The group also develops fundraising strategies that help to ensure the college’s strength and stability. To get involved, contact Brooke Bryant at (212) 353-4171 or

  • 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.