George Reeves ME'64

COOPERMADE Founders and Presidents

George Reeves ME’64

George Reeves and his business partner and wife, Ross Wisnewski, know better than most people the urgent need for innovative thinking to combat climate crisis. For 40 years they ran an energy consulting firm, George Reeves Associates. (Wisnewski, who is an economist, quips, “My ego turned out to be strong enough to handle that.”) They taught companies how to store and conserve energy in order to use it efficiently. Initially Reeves had worked for the Edison Electric Institute, an association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, where he worked with customers to maximize their energy efficiency. It was a job that required a great deal of interpersonal acumen, and he credits Cooper with giving him a wider world view than many engineers receive, an education that valued culture as much as technology.  (He recalls taking a course in medieval music that once met at the Cloisters to hear “The Song of Daniel” played on a harpsichord.) Those sorts of experiences helped him connect to his many clients over the years.

In January 2022, he and Wisnewski, who largely ran the performance monitoring and data management end of the company’s business, gave $4 million to The Cooper Union as the school heads back to full-tuition scholarships for all students. Reeves explained why they made their generous gift: “I think there's still a huge under-served population of really smart kids. And that's what Cooper Union does, is serve them.”

  • 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.