East Islip senior art student Eavan O’Connor has been accepted on a full scholarship to the prestigious Cooper Union, only the second time an East Islip student has achieved this rare honor.
Founded in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (usually known simply as Cooper Union) is located in New York City’s East Village. This highly selective college specializes in only three fields – architecture, fine arts and engineering – and its unusual admissions policy offers a full-tuition scholarship (valued at approximately $150,000) to each student who is accepted. Cooper Union’s low acceptance ratio has resulted in Newsweek magazine naming it the "#1 Most Desirable Small School" and “#7 Most Desirable School.” Only about 60 students out of 1,500 applicants per year are accepted to Cooper’s Department of Fine Art.
“This is an amazing achievement for Eavan and our art department,” said proud East Islip art teacher William Melendez. “Eavan is only the second student in East Islip High School history to be accepted to Cooper Union – Paul Topogna from the Class of 1988 was the first. We are all very excited and proud of Eavan and his accomplishment.”
Melendez added that Cooper Union’s portfolio submission and drawing exam is one of the most rigorous among all art schools in the United States. “It was a hard test,” admitted an excited O’Connor, noting the 20 days of drawing required.
“I’ve always been into art,” O’Connor said regarding his background, and explained that he has been drawing at Huntington Fine Arts since ninth grade. He cites acclaimed 20th century British painter Francis Bacon as a key influence, and his teachers at East Islip for inspiration.