200 Graduates In Special Street Procession At Cooper Union’s 148th Commencement
Bagpipers, in full regalia, led more than 200 Cooper Union graduating
seniors—to receive degrees in architecture, art and engineering—in
a special commencement street procession around Cooper Union’s Foundation
Building, a national and city landmark built in 1859.
Commencement speakers were Stan O’Neal and Cooper Union President Dr. George
Campbell Jr. Stan O’Neal, the chairman of the board, chief executive officer
and president of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., spent his early years on his
grandfather’s farm in rural Alabama without many opportunities for a good
education but was given “a strong desire to learn.” Stan O’Neal is the first
African American to head a major Wall Street firm and is credited with leading
a remarkable turnaround of the company, with revenues almost doubling under his
leadership to $35 at General Motors Corporation in New York and Madrid. He
began his career at GM as a coop student, alternating between assembly line
jobs and studies at GM Technical Institute (now Kettering University), where he
received his bachelor’s degree.Mr. O’Neal received a master’s of business administration with
distinction in Finance from Harvard University.
A lifelong believer in the transformative power of education, Mr. O’Neal has
focused Merrill Lynch’s philanthropy and employee voluntarism on economic
empowerment and financial literacy and educational advancement initiatives in
15 of the world’s major inner cities. He and his wife Nancy Garvey also are
active founding patrons of the Bronx Preparatory Charter School.
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of
Science and Art is a distinguished private college of art, architecture and
engineering founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, an inventor, industrialist and philanthropist.
Since it’s founding, all admitted students have received full-tuition