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Toni and David Yarnell Establish Prizes for Graduating Students

POSTED ON: June 1, 2012

Toni and David Yarnell have recently established two annual awards at The Cooper Union:  The Toni and David Yarnell Merit Award of Excellence in Architecture and The Toni and David Yarnell Merit Award of Excellence in Art.  The awards will be presented each year at commencement to two graduating seniors of The Cooper Union, one from the School of Art and one from the School of Architecture.  The Yarnells established these awards as their way of “giving back”.

David Yarnell was born in Brooklyn and, as he says, “escaped to Manhattan” as a teenager.  After graduating from Brooklyn Law School, David attended Cooper Union School of Art.  Though he was at Cooper for less than one year, he describes his experience as “memorable and exhilarating.  Being exposed to the creative work being done at The Cooper Union prompted me to pursue my dream of working in radio and television. “

Yarnell adds: “After Cooper, my vocational journey took me through executive positions starting with radio and then television.  I held a variety of programming jobs before becoming V.P. of Programming at Metromedia and then RKO General.” 

Yarnell’s program credits as producer include: FIRING LINE with WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY; AMERICAN MASTERS: BILLIE WILDER; NEW LOVE AMERICAN STYLE; IN CONCERT music series; DEEP IN MY HEART feature film starring ANNE BANCROFT; and other news, documentary, sports, and talk shows. 

Toni Howard grew up in Los Angeles.   Her career spans a successful series of jobs as a casting director for dozens of films, including TOOTSIE and THE RIGHT STUFF.  Toni became a talent agent and senior V.P. with the William Morris agency in the 1980s.  Her next job was as Agent and Head of Talent Department at International Creative Management or ICM.  Among her clients today are Laura Linney, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci, James Spader, Harvey Keitel, Edie Falco, Stephen Fry, Michael Caine and Michael Sheen.                                                                                    

Toni and David have established these two merit awards because of their deep interest in art and architecture.  They believe that “setting up these annual awards for outstanding graduates who attended the School of Art and the School of Architecture is our way of sharing our good fortune with future ‘stars’ from an outstanding institution.”

The Cooper Union is deeply gratefully to Toni and David Yarnell for supporting young artists and architects as they launch their careers.

  • 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.