The Passing of Adrian Jovanovic BSE’89

To the Cooper Community,

It is with heavy hearts that we write to inform you of the tragic passing of Cooper Union Trustee Adrian Jovanovic BSE’89 due to a hiking accident in Washington State, where Adrian lived and worked.

The President and Board of Trustees of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art wish to convey their most deeply felt condolences to his family, many friends, and our extended community. His sudden loss is profoundly difficult to accept or comprehend. Adrian’s family has shared this statement:

Sabina and Oliver Jovanovic are deeply saddened by the loss of their beloved son and brother, Adrian Burton Jovanovic. Adrian died in a tragic accident on June 17, 2017 while hiking in Washington State. Adrian lived his life fully committed to all that he believed in and loved—from friends and travel, to music and software design, to learning and education. His generosity, passion, and intelligence will be profoundly missed. Read the family’s full statement.

Adrian joined the Board of Trustees in December 2015 after playing a central leadership role in the legal challenge to charging tuition. He served as co-founder and President of the Committee to Save Cooper Union and was a member of the Trustees’ Free Education Committee.

During his years at Cooper Union, Adrian served as President of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and was founder and captain of the division-winning tennis team. Upon graduation, Adrian was awarded the Cooper Union Alumni Association Award (CUAA) for outstanding service and later was inducted into the Society of 1859, recognizing enduring donor gifts.

After graduation, Adrian worked for Microsoft as a Software Design Engineer and Program Manager, and then went on to found eMedia Music Corporation, a leading publisher of educational music software, where he was President. Adrian also served on several non-profit boards and was a City of Seattle Music Commissioner. Adrian was awarded the CUAA Alumnus of the Year Award in 2016 for his longstanding dedication and commitment to the CUAA and The Cooper Union.

Adrian’s principled role in fighting for the return of a tuition-free Cooper Union has earned him a lasting place of honor at our school and in our hearts. As we receive word of memorial services, we will share them with you. We will also honor Adrian’s life with an event on campus this fall.

Our thoughts are with Adrian’s family and friends. This is a very difficult time for all of us who knew and loved him.

Laura Sparks, President and Rachel L. Warren, Chair, Board of Trustees

  • 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.