The Cooper Fund Leadership Circle

Commencement at The Cooper Union A class at The Cooper Union

Transforming lives and securing the greatest public good were at the heart of Peter Cooper’s aspirations for an institution of higher learning. Through the establishment of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, he sought to enable young men and women of all backgrounds to have the formal education that was unavailable to him. Since 1859, The Cooper Union has provided generations of students unparalleled access to education.

At The Cooper Union, our students receive outstanding instruction in art,
architecture and engineering which, together with a shared curriculum in the humanities and social sciences, prepares them to be fully engaged citizens. Small classes, a focus on student and faculty collaboration, and an emphasis on experimentation and creativity distinguish the Cooper experience and give our graduates the knowledge and skills they need to confront the world’s most vexing problems.

But today, Cooper's unique academic tradition is endangered. To address the urgent need for current resources we are establishing The Cooper Fund. It will embrace all gifts for immediate use. A gift to The Cooper Fund is one of the most valuable contributions alumni, parents, students and friends can make to help carry Peter Cooper's great vision into the future.

The Cooper Fund Leadership Circle
The Cooper Fund Leadership Circle honors those supporters of Cooper whose annual gifts range from $10,000 to $50,000 and above. The Cooper Fund Leadership Circle members enjoy a range of special benefits, including on-campus lectures and exhibitions showcasing faculty, student and professional work, exclusive receptions and more. Please consider joining today.


Gift opportunities
There are many ways to put your leadership gift to The Cooper Fund to work. An Annual Fund scholarship gift addresses Cooper’s greatest need by helping a promising student change his or her life through a Cooper education. You may also direct your gift toward student grants and fellowships, academic enhancements, faculty support or venture funding. Which­ever of the following opportunities you choose, we are grateful for your generosity.

Annual Fund Scholarship Support
Annual Fund gifts are directed toward paying educational costs for our student body. As these costs rise, we need increased resources to provide the broad access that has always been a core value at Cooper. An Annual Fund scholarship gift directly supports our students while contributing in an important way to Cooper’s financial health.

Student Grants & Fellowships
Experiences outside the classroom can be just as important as coursework in a student’s development as a professional. At The Cooper Union, our students can choose from a range of programs and opportunities that deepen their education and give them valuable real-world experience. Gift opportunities inclue:

International and cross-cultural learning fellowships which give students the opportunity to study abroad. Whether studying art in Amsterdam, apprenticing in an auto engineering facility in Germany or exploring architecture in Japan, students learn about the world and discover new approaches to their work.

Internship support which provides funding to students who pursue unpaid work in their fields, giving them the opportunity to learn directly from professionals and build their career networks.

Project grants which are awarded on a competitive basis and give students the chance to pursue independent research, small business start-ups and other creative projects emerging directly from their coursework at Cooper.

Computer Center gifts which support students hired by the Computer Center each year. Undergraduates get hands-on, high-tech professional experience while supporting Cooper’s faculty, staff and students.

Academic Enhancements
Our experiential academic programs are built around a range of activities that directly support the vibrant intellectual and creative culture of our campus. We are grateful for gifts that enhance these academic programs and support technology and infrastructure, including:

Exhibitions which give students the opportunity to present themselves as professionals, make important connections and build public awareness of their accomplishments. Exhibitions are an important means of integrating Cooper into its community. Gifts in this area provide resources for research, installations, publications and outreach.

Laboratories which provide access to state-of-the-art technology and help our students to be competitive by giving them the best tools to realize their most innovative ideas. Gifts in this area help support programs like sustainability, biomedical engineering, applied technology and digital media.

Studios which are a key component of our individualized learning model, providing time and space for students to try out projects, from architectural drawing and modeling to printmaking, painting, graphic design and sculpture. The open studio setup also fosters strong, interactive communities. Gifts in this area help us maintain these critical facilities.

Faculty Support
A world-class education demands a world-class faculty. We are very proud of the outstanding individuals who teach art, architecture, engineering and the humanities and social sciences, and are committed to providing them with the support they need to carry out ground-breaking research and creative work. Gift opportunities include:

Faculty Fellowships which support research and publications, giving faculty members the chance to deepen their knowledge, explore new areas and try out new ideas. The work they produce helps elevate Cooper’s profile while providing new opportunities and directions in our classrooms.

Venture Funding
Innovation is at the heart of The Cooper Union. Venture funding underscores our commitment to exploring new ideas and directions by supporting entrepreneurial projects, research, inventions and patent applications. Faculty and students are already pursuing initiatives in global development, design and technology, sustainability, bio-engineering and other new frontiers. Gifts for endeavors like these are critical to advancing the School’s academic programs and ensuring that Cooper students will be prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Cooper Fund Leadership Circle membership is based upon total gifts to The Cooper Fund made in a single fiscal year (July 1-June 30).

All members of the Cooper Fund Leadership Circle will be invited to an annual reception with Cooper’s President and students. Other yearly benefits include:

PLATINUM ($50,000+)

  • Personal update on the state of The Cooper Union with the President
  • Ongoing invitations to special private events, including artist studio tours, visits to museums, galleries and architectural sites, and guided tours of on-campus exhibitions
  • Concierge service in making reservations for on-campus events
  • Limited-edition publication designed by a prominent alumnus plus all Gold benefits

Gold ($25,000–$49,999)

  • Multiple scholarships, fellowships or grants established in your name, with the option to specify student majors or hometowns (as appropriate)
  • Private tour of an on-campus exhibition of your choice, led by a member of our esteemed faculty
  • VIP seating at special events in the historic Great Hall plus all Silver benefits

Silver ($10,000–$24,999)

  • A scholarship, fellowship or grant established in your name
  • Invitation to a reception and tour of the End of Year Show, which highlights student work from all three of Cooper’s schools
  • Your choice of a unique Cooper gift 
  • Special recognition in all donor listings, including the web site and print materials

Donors at the highest levels will receive additional benefits tailored to their interests. All gifts to The Cooper Fund will be counted toward your membership in Cooper’s Lifetime Giving Societies.

For more information and to make a gift to The Cooper Fund, please contact:

The Cooper Union for the Advancement
of Science and Art
Office of Alumni Affairs and Development
30 Cooper Square, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10003
Jeanne Lunin
Director of Development
212.353.4107 |
Donna Lippman
Director of Planned Giving
212.353.4172 |

Jennifer Durst
Major Gifts Officer
212.353.4165 |
Elizabeth Rivera
Major Gifts Officer
212.353.4171 |
  • 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.