End of Year Message from Acting Dean Eber

POSTED ON: May 20, 2024


Dear Cooper Community,

As the spring semester draws to a close and we approach commencement, I find myself reflecting deeply on the remarkable achievements and challenges we've faced together during the academic year. This message is more than a summary of our semester's accomplishments; it is a testament to our resilience and shared commitment to our community.

First and foremost, I want to celebrate the incredible work done by our students and faculty. Despite the challenges, we've seen innovative projects, insightful research, and inspiring creativity. A few brief highlights include:

Students in Sam Anderson’s third-year Building Technology class, alongside student volunteers from other years, fabricated and constructed a Paper Log House on The Glass House estate in New Canaan, Connecticut, in collaboration with Shigeru Ban Architects. We were thrilled to see the project covered in The New York Times, and look forward to a group visit during Reunion weekend this coming fall.

We hosted a series of thought-provoking lectures and book launches by leading architects, artists, and collaboratives, as well as several exhibitions that continue to enrich our academic environment. In the Third Floor Hallway Gallery we exhibited work from our remarkable faculty, including formative studies, drawings, and photographs by the late Anthony Vidler; a litter of archetypal monsters by visiting faculty Jimenez Lai; and work from Associate Professor Lydia Kallipoliti’s new book Histories of Ecological Design: An Unfinished Cyclopedia.

Our second community dinner provided a much-needed moment for us to come together, share a meal, and reconnect right before Spring Break. We also celebrated a significant milestone—the 15th anniversary of The William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship. This special event reunited nearly 40 past recipients with the Mack family, honoring the Fellowship's impact and the enduring relationships it has fostered.

Nevertheless, we have witnessed horrific world events this academic year that have inflicted great pain on many in our community. And while The Cooper Union seeks to uphold your right to free speech, dissent, and assembly regarding these tragedies, difficult decisions were also required to preserve the important milestones of commencement and the End of Year Show. I share your disappointment about the restructuring of our conventions and traditions; I assure you that we have listened closely to all your concerns and are actively working to support our community and share your work.  

Lastly, I want to express my sincere gratitude to each of you for maintaining the values that define the Cooper community. Our School is shaped by a culture of care, communication, and collaboration, which is at the heart of what makes this institution an exceptional place. Your continuous feedback, constructive criticism, engagement, and unwavering support have been invaluable to me during these challenging times.

To our graduates, I send you my deepest congratulations. I am so proud of each of you and of your accomplishments, and I can’t wait to see what your future holds. For those of us returning to classrooms and studios in the fall, the summer ahead is an opportunity for reflection and renewal. It offers a chance to work locally and abroad, engage in internships, further our research projects, and complete our accreditation report. I hope we can all use these months to rest and rejuvenate so that with the arrival of the next academic year, we can come back together with a renewed sense of purpose and an even stronger sense of community.

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.