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Fordham GSE Mourns Former Professor Bruce Cooper

Bruce Cooper, Ph.D., a Fordham Graduate School of Education educational leadership faculty member from 1981 – 2014, passed away April 26, 2023. During Professor Cooper’s time at Fordham, he mentored hundreds of doctoral candidates in completing their dissertations, and the time he spent with his doctoral students in his office, home, or favorite luncheonette on Broadway was the stuff of legends. Cooper’s students went on to become college presidents, vice presidents, deans, faculty members, school superintendents, and principals.

Professor Cooper’s knowledge, good humor, and patience made him not only a wonderful doctoral mentor, but also a great colleague. Students and faculty alike benefitted from his expounding on Beethoven, Mozart, New York City history, and the New York Yankees.

As a scholar, he and Joseph Ponterotto, Ph.D., were at the forefront of developing Fordham’s Graduate School of Education’s national reputation for academic research excellence.

The best way to sum up Cooper’s life at Fordham is through the words of one of his former students, James Teague, Ph.D.:

“Professor Cooper was brilliant. His classes were outstanding! They usually closed with him asking, “Is anyone going uptown?”. Since I was often heading north anyway, it was easy to drop him off at his apartment on the Upper West Side. During our many drives, Professor Cooper would relay historical details of Manhattan and its northward growth. He was always teaching, telling me stories of the Jewish people and, along the way, also teaching me Yiddish songs and their origins. Cooper was not only brilliant, but also kind. He mentioned many times that “Quality education is a fundamental human right, not a privilege”. Professor Cooper adored his family and was proud of their accomplishments. His memory is a blessing. And having had him as a professor was a blessing!”

Bruce Cooper, Ph.D., was truly a man for all seasons. As long as his students are out in the world functioning as educational leaders, his influence will live on for many decades to come.


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