Characteristics of a Potential Student Representative

The Cooper Union Board of Trustees is a fiduciary board and with that comes certain legal responsibilities. Members of the Board are selected on the basis of their demonstrated interest in and/or advocacy on behalf of Cooper Union, proven skills, professional experience and a financial commitment to the school. The Committee on Trustees previously drafted a list of characteristics for consideration in nominating potential trustees and a similar outline has been prepared for the Student Representative position.

Personal stake: interest in and advocacy of Cooper Union. Involvement in the work of Cooper Union and interests that align with the purpose and academic disciplines of Cooper Union.

Outreach within the Cooper Union community: involvement in academic and/or extra-curricular activities with exposure to a diversity of opinions.

Financial awareness: awareness of, and appreciation for, the role of philanthropy in Cooper Union’s past, current and future.

Intellectual leadership: vision and scholarship to contribute to the implementation of Cooper Union’s strategic plan.

Volunteer leadership: a record of civic engagement and commitment to serving Cooper Union and all of its constituents in ambassadorship role.

Familiarity with the work of Cooper Union: purpose, goals, programs, functioning, reputation.

Diversity: representation from the varied populations – racial, gender, ethnic, etc. – that comprise Cooper Union’s city, its alumni and its student body, current and future.

Community involvement: interest and/or willingness to engage the East Village community in the life of Cooper Union, and to encourage support of plans to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood.

Compatibility: willingness to work well with current Trustees and add to the existing skill set of the Board.

Sufficient commitment: of time/work as appropriate.

  • 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.