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Cooper Union Endowment Fund

Name: The Cooper Union

Assets Under Management: $905.4 Million (Source: Cooper Union on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Consolidated Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the consolidated balance sheets and consolidated statements of activities and cash flows of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (the College) and its affiliates, The C.V. Starr Research Foundation at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Inc. (formerly, The Cooper Union Research Foundation, Inc.) and Astor Place Holding Corporation (Astor Place).

The College was founded in 1859 through the bequest of Peter Cooper, a noted industrialist and philanthropist. The College was incorporated under a special act of the New York State Legislature in 1859 and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Regents of the University of the State of New York. It offers degree programs in architecture, art, and engineering. The College provided full-tuition scholarships to all students through fiscal 2013.” (Source)

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Top Cooper Union Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) The model is an educational institution, the Cooper Union in New York City that, like so many other such institutions and pension funds, depends heavily on revenues from its portfolio. In Cooper Union’s case, investment income provides 60% of the school’s revenues.

After the recession of the early 2000s, Cooper Union, which provides full scholarships to all its 1,000 students, faced a financial crisis. The endowment had been invested in traditional assets and was greatly diminished by the market declines. (Source)

2) A strong endowment is particularly important for Cooper Union, an all-honors college where students do not pay tuition. The school ranked as one of the top three baccalaureate programs for architecture, engineering and fine arts in the country, and has one of academia’s most selective admissions processes. (Source)

3) The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, established in 1859, is among the nation’s oldest and most distinguished institutions of higher learning. The organization, the legacy of Peter Cooper, occupies a special place in the cultural fabric of American life. Founded by industrialist, inventor and philanthropist Peter Cooper, Cooper Union houses schools of art, architecture and engineering, as well as a world-class faculty of humanities and social sciences. (Source)

4) A team of Cooper Union engineering students has won a $15,000 prize from the first-ever Dream it. Code it. Win it. software competition during an award ceremony held in the Great Hall last week. Alyssa Davis, Aman Grewal, David Sheckhtman, Kevin Shi and Robert Walsh of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering won the prize for “Mycrophone,” a smartphone app born out of a problem that has vexed students and instructors since the age of the Lyceum: how to effectively handle questions from a large audience during a lecture.

The Cooper students’ software solution took second prize along with teams from Quinnipiac University, who took third, and Harvard College who took the top prize. (Source)

5) Established in 1859, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a college whose existence has long been intertwined with the history of the bohemian East Village. The school—which until recently charged no tuition—offers a number of resources available to the general public, including the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography collection (housed inside the school’s new, avant-garde-looking building 41 Cooper Square). The massive Italianate “old” building that dominates Cooper Square houses the historic Great Hall, where Abraham Lincoln’s speech on slavery, in February 1860, turned him into a national figure and a serious candidate for the presidency. The Great Hall continues to host public events and speakers to this day. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson