Peter Cooper, founder of The Cooper Union, was born on February 12, 1791.
There is so much to say about the contributions Peter Cooper made to engineering, politics, education and humanity in general. His accomplishments arguably equal those of ten lifetimes. This blog is dedicated to his contribution to art.
In 1859, Peter Cooper established The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Cooper’s freethinking and his philosophy for his school were wildly unique. His institution was the first private college to admit blacks, Jews and women. Influenced by his father from an early age, Cooper had a love for charity. Tuition at The Cooper Union was need-blind and free until 2014 because Cooper believed that education should be “as free as air and water.”
Perhaps most impressive is The Cooper Union’s encouragement of freethinking and educational rigor. Students are taught to think, not just replicate or memorize. The Cooper Union ranked #2 in The Daily Beast’s "20 Most Rigorous Colleges." The rankings are determined by the selectivity of admissions, student-to-faculty ratio, class size and student surveys for workload manageability and smartest professors.
The Cooper Union art school boasts hundreds of notable alumni. BrandTuitive is ever grateful to Peter Cooper for founding an institution that has set a bar that its graduates have continued to raise for over 150 years. The Cooper Union has had a personal impact on our branding agency. Our creative director, Dimitri Scheblanov, is a graduate. The education he received (along with his given talent and drive to continually best his previous work) is evident in the thinking and strategy he provides to our clients’ projects every day. In his words, “I’m incredibly thankful to Peter Cooper for founding the school. I wish there were more people in the world like him.”
A hundred plus years later, Peter Cooper, his open-mindedness, his charity and his desire to provide talented people with the opportunity to learn are still making a profound impact on people’s lives today.
We honor Peter Cooper for his drive, his belief in equality of people and his desire to leave an indelible mark before he left this planet. We’re inspired to strive to have our work make a contribution that makes a difference for the people in our lives – our clients, our employees, our vendors and those in our industry. Happy Birthday, Peter Cooper.