Inauguration Week: TRUTH

Monday, February 5, 2018, 7:30 - 9pm

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Sparks Inauguration Invitation

A week-long schedule of public programming and community events centered around the theme of TRUTH, which was inspired by Peter Cooper's own words:

My design is to establish this institution, in the hope that unnumbered youth will here receive the inspiration of truth in all its native power and beauty, and find in it a source of perpetual pleasure to spread its transforming influence throughout the world.

Monday, February 5, 7:30 pm

Who Needs Truth: An Evening of Politics and Performance

If news can be fake and facts have alternatives, how are we to know what’s true anymore? Harvard political philosopher  MICHAEL SANDEL will lead a public debate on the fate of truth in our society. Sandel will be joined by extraordinary artists who will set the stage with thought-provoking performances. NOTE: Limited seating. RSVP here.

Tuesday, February 6, 10 am

The Inauguration of Laura Sparks as 13th President

Wednesday, February 7, 12 pm (41 Cooper Square)

Focused on the Future of Learning: Imagining a Cooper Education in 2040

An academic panel focused on questions like: How are the worlds of higher education, learning theory, and technology evolving, and how should a school like The Cooper Union position itself and its students for success in a globally connected world 20 years from now? Are aspects of a formal education in architecture, art, engineering, and the humanities timeless? A presentation and panel discussion with national education experts and esteemed Cooper faculty and alumni will explore the future of learning in higher education and the implications for The Cooper Union.

Thursday, February 8, 7:30 pm

An Evening with Erica Armstrong Dunbar,  Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History, Rutgers University

A lecture and reading based on her book, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.  How does pursuing truth in history inform our future? Dunbar’s eye-opening narrative about a courageous black woman who risked her life for freedom sheds new light on our reckoning of a flawed nation, then and now. She will be in conversation with CBS Sunday Morning Contributor Nancy Giles as part of the 2018 John Jay Iselin Memorial Lecture.


Monday, February 12, various times

Cooper Together

Alumni and friends will gather in cities across the country honor the occasion of Peter Cooper's birthday, commemorate his philanthropic spirit, and celebrate our new leadership. Visit here to find a gathering in your city.



Hyatt Union Square

134 Fourth Avenue

New York, NY 10003


When calling, be sure to reference “Cooper Union Inauguration” to receive a reduced room rate. You can also book directly in the block by visiting here.

For longer stays, please contact Sabeli Rodriguez at 917.595.1389

Other neighborhood hotels:

The Standard East Village

25 Cooper Square

New York, NY 10003


The Bowery Hotel

335 Bowery

New York, NY 10003


Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • 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.