Purvi Gandhi Irwin and Allen Irwin

AR '03 and BSE '02

The Roof Terrace was an opportunity to further commit ourselves to the school and remind students about the importance of continuing the gift of a Cooper Union education.

Purvi Gandhi Irwin and Allen Irwin

Purvi Gandhi Irwin, AR'03 is an architect practicing in Washington, DC. Her husband, Allen Irwin, BSE'02, studied engineering at Cooper and now works for a defense contracting firm in that area.  The couple met during their freshman orientation at Cooper. Twelve years later, they are the proud parents of a fifteen-month-old daughter, Saha.Both Purvi and Allen have fond memories of their time at Cooper.  Originally from Salt Lake City, Purvi reveled in the vibrant culture of New York City.  She took advantage of the many opportunities Cooper had to offer, getting involved with the South Asian Society and enrolling in several art classes.  Allen enjoyed building friendships with his colleagues in the art and architecture programs.  He says, "I was overwhelmed by the creative contributions of my fellow students. Cooper truly is a small community in a big city."   Cooper also played an important role in launching Allen and Purvi's careers. Allen entered the workforce after the post-dot.com bust, when conventional fields for engineering students were facing uncertainty.  He ultimately entered the defense industry because of a Cooper connection.  Purvi believes that the intense academic experience at Cooper "prepared me for the work culture in architecture, which is highly deadline driven and has extremely long hours at times."  The Irwins have supported Cooper Union since graduating.  Purvi says, "We feel it is important to pay it forward and support the next generation of Cooper students."  Allen agrees:  "The Roof Terrace was an opportunity to further commit ourselves to the school and remind students about the importance of continuing the gift of a Cooper Union education."

  • 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.