COOPERMADE BEER - Leo Wallerstein

COOPERMADE BEER - Leo Wallerstein

Leo Wallerstein Eng 1904

Leo Wallerstein (c.1882-1956), an immigrant from Fuerth, Bavaria, Germany came to the United States in 1900 and immediately enrolled at The Cooper Union, studying engineering, and graduating in 1904. Two years earlier, he and his brother Max founded Wallerstein Laboratories in New York to act as consultants to the brewing industry, a thriving field thanks to the many German immigrants settling in the United States at the time. Their work included research into fermentation, as well as enzymes used in manufacturing and food industries. The business prospered, eventually opening plants in Staten Island, Mexico, Canada, and England. After Max died, Leo became president of the company in 1937, and 18 years later was named chairman of the board.

Leo’s son, George, didn’t attend The Cooper Union but he recalled how much the school meant to his father, who donated widely to museums and universities, establishing science grants, and working with the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. He also donated a collection of prints by artists such as Lucas van Leyden and Rembrandt to the Cooper Union Museum, which became the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. George Wallerstein decided to leave ten percent of his estate to Cooper in memory of his father with directions that the bequest go to student scholarships at Cooper, having seen the success of what a free education propelled his father to accomplish. Through June 30, 2023, George Wallerstein will match all gifts up to $1.8 million; new and increased gifts will have triple the impact. All gifts make a tremendous difference to our students and every gift brings us closer to returning to 100% fully-funded tuition for all Cooper Union undergraduate students. 

  • 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.