November 2, 2017 Message from the President

We find ourselves in difficult and divisive times, yet surrounded by a community of people who support each other and who, even with diverse views and robust debate, stand in solidarity with one another, particularly in times of tragedy. That solidarity was demonstrated again here at Cooper as our buildings and grounds staff, security team, faculty, and other staff members worked together through these last few days to ensure the safety of our campus and our community. I find great comfort in that spirit of care and collaboration.

We have learned that Wednesday morning’s shooting outside our building resulted in the death of a beloved member of Grace Church School (GCS), Elizabeth Lee.  We have reached out to the Head of School at GCS to offer our help, support, and deepest condolences at this very difficult time for their school community. 

Given both this situation and Tuesday’s tragedy in Lower Manhattan, I want you to know that the safety and wellness of our Cooper community – including students, faculty, staff, and neighbors – are of our utmost concern.  That is why we have an emergency communications system in place, which includes text alerts, voicemails, emails, and social media channels through which we can very quickly share important information with you.  I promise that we will use text alerts only when we feel it is absolutely necessary, and I ask that you pay close attention to this information whenever you receive it.

If you did not receive a text or voicemail on Wednesday morning about the shooting and the temporary cancellation of classes in the Foundation Building, it means we do not have your current mobile number on file.  We will be sending subsequent emails to all faculty/staff and students today to collect updated mobile numbers and email addresses.  This process is critical to ensuring we can communicate with our entire Cooper community in emergency situations to keep you safe and informed.  Please be sure to respond to today’s follow-up communication on this matter. 

In addition, if you do not already follow Cooper Union social media channels, you can do so by following these links: and

I also want to reemphasize that Cooper Union offers counseling services for all students and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all faculty and staff. We encourage anyone who feels impacted by the events of the last 24 hours to connect to resources and supportive care.  For students requiring counseling, you can click on this counseling services link for contact and scheduling information. For any employee who requires counseling support, please access the EAP at 800-252-4555.

In addition, there is another resource available to anyone needing care and support that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NYC Well is a connection to free, confidential mental health support. Through this service, you can speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance misuse services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. To connect with NYC Well, you can call 1.888.692.9355 (1.888.NYC.WELL), text "Well" to 65173, or chat with someone online.

 Lastly, as Dean of Students Chris Chamberlin said in earlier messages to students, one of the defining aspects of the Cooper community is the way in which we look out for one another.  To that end, we are all responsible for being aware of our surroundings and reporting any suspicious activity.  As the national campaign says, “If you see something, say something.”  You can reach Cooper Union security at:

Foundation Building: x180 or 212 353-4180

41 Cooper: x270 or 212-353-4270

Student Residence Hall: x4050 or 212-353-4050

We are so fortunate to live, work, and learn as part of this wonderful community in one of the world’s most incredible cities.  While we mourn the loss of fellow New Yorkers and visitors to our great city, we must continue on our paths, pursuing our work and aspirations, exploring the issues that matter for our community, our city, our country, caring for each other, and working toward peaceful solutions. I can’t think of a group of people with whom I would rather be doing that than this one.

In partnership,


  • 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.