The William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship

William Cooper Mack and his father, John Mack, at the 2005 End of Year Exhibition Tetra Module - William Cooper Mack Thesis, 2005-06 2013 William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship Recipients 2012 William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship Recipients 2011 William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship Recipients 2010 William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship Recipients
William Cooper Mack and his father, John Mack, at the 2005 End of Year Exhibition

The William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship program was established in 2008 by John and Harriet Mack at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in memory of their son William Cooper Mack, class of 2006. Cooper, as he was known to all, first entered The Cooper Union in the School of Art, where he studied for one year before transferring to the School of Architecture. His work to weld tradition and research, technology and science, art and architectonics in the search for new answers to longstanding questions in architecture was recognized through awards and prizes that included the American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Certificate of Merit, the Peter W. Bruder Memorial Fund Structures Prize and the Bert L. Stern Architectural Award from the Lotos Club Foundation.

The Thesis year affords each student in the School of Architecture the freedom to shape, in every sense, a project that stands as a culmination of the design sequence. Thesis students are encouraged to deeply examine personal as well as broad cultural, social and environmental concerns toward an architectural solution incorporating program, site, technologies and poetics. William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowships are awarded each year to support primary research and inquiry in the development of significant and original thesis projects.

Over the past four years, the William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship program has had a significant impact on many thesis projects. Eighteen students have received the award, with research conducted in thirteen countries, at locations as diverse as Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; the disputed territory of the Bakassi Peninsula; the Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza; Zarazoga, Spain and Cuba. Students have conducted site surveys, oral histories, research at local archives, photographic documentation, studies of indigenous building practices and interviews of community leaders, as integral components toward the making of architecture.

We invite you to support the efforts of our thesis students to broaden the reach and impact of architecture through a contribution to this important program. To make a donation, please click here; make sure to select Named Endowment and specify William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship in the additional comments / preferences box.

Projects & Links

  • 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.