Welcome from President Sparks -- January 2017

Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to a new year, a new semester, and a new chapter at The Cooper Union. I am eager to work with all of you to build on Peter Cooper’s tremendous legacy as we collaborate to shape our future.

As we welcomed everyone back to Cooper Square this morning, my family and I enjoyed meeting many of you for the first time and saying hello to familiar faces that I’ve gotten to know over the last few months during my informal transition to Cooper. I look forward to meeting many more of you in person as I continue to get to know our Cooper community, learn from you, and engage in our work together.

We will have an opportunity to gather as a community next Tuesday (January 24th) in The Great Hall from 12:15 – 2:00 p.m., and shortly thereafter we will make available a schedule that details a variety of ways in which we can come together to learn about and with each other. From informal breakfast and lunch gatherings, president’s office open houses and office hours, and roundtable discussions focused on topics of particular importance to The Cooper Union, we will spend this semester getting to know each other, rediscovering Cooper’s many strengths, and understanding the challenges we will overcome as we endeavor to return to full tuition scholarships for all students while ensuring The Cooper Union’s long-term financial health, academic vitality, and civic leadership into the 22nd century.

In the meantime, I look forward to the rising bustle in our corridors, the intense focus in our labs and studios, the fruits of your work that will energize our community, and the words and discoveries that will push our thinking in The Great Hall. These are what make The Cooper Union what it is – a living laboratory that has advanced and shaped our country and civic thought for over 150 years. In this era of sensationalism and the questioning of scientific consensus, I can’t think of a better time for The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art to lead. Thank you for your trust and your partnership as, together, we steward this great organization forward.

With gratitude,

  • 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.