The Case for Cooper

Graduation Ceremony Architecture Studios Engineering Facilities Drawing Class Engineering Student Art Student in Studio

“It’s a privilege to give to Cooper. For all that it did for me and for countless others throughout its history, I consider it a responsibility to help Cooper deliver the best education to students who will make the most of it.”

These words, spoken by a young alumnus, offer compelling testimony about why supporting Cooper Union is so important. We remain committed to sustaining Peter Cooper’s vision and his profound reliance on education to improve society. Unleashing the imagination, creativity, and inventiveness of the human mind were fundamental to achieving a better world, and inevitably, Cooper established a school that embodied his view. While Cooper remains a private institution, its mission for over 150 years has been the public good.

Laudable goals do not, however, ensure their bearing fruit. The Cooper Union cannot rely alone on the bequest from its founder. It is up to the generations that succeed Peter Cooper to keep his light shining.

Relying as Cooper does on the generosity of its alumni, parents, and friends to maintain the excellent education it offers to emerging artists, architects, and engineers, we enlist your partnership in the renewal of Peter Cooper’s promise.

  • 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.