2018 Outstanding Volunteer and Distinguished Alumni

Brickman Center, as seen from the path leading towards the terrace, showcasing the blue-glassed tower

2018 Outstanding Volunteer and Distinguished Alumni

Dave Cooper, Outstanding Volunteer

David Cooper arrived at ANC Boys School as a junior, graduated in 1977, and then completed an associate degree at Bryn Athyn College. He went on to study engineering at the University of Maryland before starting a career in communications technology and software development. In 1995, he joined a colleague at Antech Systems and has overseen its growth from two to currently 140 employees. In 2012, Antech merged with Digital Wave Technologies, a local web services firm employing numerous Bryn Athyn College alumni. Dave currently serves as vice chairman of the Antech/Digital Wave board of directors, oversees its NAVAIR prime contract, developing interactive technical manuals, courseware, and maintenance support systems for the US Navy, and heads up the Innovation and Consulting department.

Dave moved back to Bryn Athyn in 1999 with his wife, Sherri Rumer Cooper, Ph.D., when Sherri joined the faculty of BAC as head of the biology program. In addition to raising their two daughters here—Zia, a sophomore at Ursinus College and Anji, a senior at ANC—Dave and Sherri worked together on a variety of initiatives in support of the growth of Bryn Athyn College, including advocating and planning for a science building on campus that now supports faculty, classrooms, laboratories, and research. Following Sherri’s battle with cancer, Dave established the Sherri Rumer Cooper Memorial Research Fund to support the continuation of undergraduate research at the College. He works with College science faculty and administration to review research proposals and award grants to students and faculty each year.

Back in his days at BAC, Dave was a captain of the college soccer and lacrosse teams, which led former athletic director Bob Heinrichs (AA ’59) to recruit him to the Bryn Athyn College Alumni Association. As president since 2013, Dave has guided the BACAA through changes that have paralleled those at the College, developing new approaches to engage former students and friends of the College. He meets weekly with a staff member from the Alumni Relations & Advancement office and participates in the College’s strategic planning process. He is a member of the ANC Corporation and serves on its College Board Committee

Lisa (Hyatt) Cooper, Distinguished Alumna

Lisa (Hyatt) Cooper was born and raised in Delaware, where she attended public school until she came to Bryn Athyn as a junior at the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools. Lisa attended what is now Bryn Athyn College for four years, earning a Bachelor of Science in religion/philosophy, with a minor in the sacred languages.

A year later Lisa became an assistant to J. Durban Odhner, who was preparing a new Latin edition of Swedenborg’s Spiritual Experiences. She also did a series of simplified translations of some of the memorable occurrences Swedenborg described in his works—translations intended for young readers—and these were published serially in New Church Home between 1982 and 1990. In 1989 Lisa became American reader and eventually Latin consultant to John Elliott on volumes 7–12 of his translation of Arcana Caelestia. Along the way she organized three international, interdenominational conferences for translators of Swedenborg at the college, in 1988, 1992, and 1994. These led in 1997 to an initiative by the Swedenborg Foundation to publish an entirely new, annotated translation of all Swedenborg’s published theological works (later named The New Century Edition), and she was appointed a member of the committee overseeing the work. In 1999 the committee hired her to do the translation of Arcana under the title Secrets of Heaven, and that translation has been her life’s work since. The first two volumes of the 15-volume set were published in 2008 and 2013, and editing has now started on the third.

She lives in Bryn Athyn with her husband, Kent Cooper, and they have two sons and three granddaughters. Her main hobby is contra dancing.

David Hotson, Distinguished Alumnus

David Hotson’s parents, John Hargrove Hotson (AA ’49) and Elisabeth Siegrist, met in Bryn Athyn when they served as the best man and maid-of-honor at the wedding of Elisabeth’s sister Anna to John’s best friend Ten Eyck Arrington. They married a year later.

David and his twin brother, Howard, were born in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and spent their childhood in rural Colorado and in Southern Ontario, Canada where his family lived in the Caryndale New Church society outside Kitchener, Ontario. In junior year David headed to Bryn Athyn to attend the Academy Boys School as part of the Class of ’77. This class had a remarkable cohesion and positive energy which continues to this day, as was evident at the extraordinary attendance at the 40th reunion during Charter Day last year. At the Academy David played ice hockey with BAC President Blair’s brother Daric, played lacrosse with BAC Alumni Association President Dave Cooper (AA ’79), and played in a band with the BAC CFO Dan Allen (AA ’78), to name a few enduring friendships from those formative years. At the end of senior year David was selected as the valedictorian of the Class of ’77 and then enrolled in the College. At the college the friendships formed in high school deepened further. David served as captain of the ice hockey team and a tri-captain on the lacrosse team. He graduated with an associate degree in 1979 and was awarded a Sons of the Academy Award, given to the outstanding male student in the graduating class.

After leaving Bryn Athyn, David enrolled in the architecture program at the University of Waterloo. This cooperative program gave David opportunities to work for architecture firms in Toronto, London, Florida, and Boston. David graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in in 1983 and was awarded the Ontario Association of Architect Prize for outstanding design work.

After completing the program at Waterloo David was admitted to the Master of Architecture program at the Yale University. Among his classmates was Maya Lin, a first-year student who already had a national design reputation. As an undergraduate at Yale, Maya had won the national competition for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Maya and David became collaborators, submitting a proposal to co-edit the Yale Architecture School Journal.

In his second year at Yale, David was selected by the faculty of the School of Architecture as the outstanding student in the class and was chosen to represent Yale in the nationwide competition for the Skidmore Owings and Merrill Foundation Traveling Fellowship. After an extensive portfolio review and interview process, David was selected to receive the prestigious fellowship, which funded for a year of independent travel around the Mediterranean.

David received a Master of Architecture degree from Yale and moved to New York City in1987 where he completed the required apprenticeship period, passed his board exams, and received his professional license to practice architecture in 1989. He established the firm of David Hotson Architect in New York in 1991.

Having arrived in New York without a network of connections other than his fellow architects, David built his early practice around collaborative work. This included a long period of collaboration with Yale classmate Maya Lin, serving as the executive architect on a series of projects that she attracted as her Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed to wide acclaim. These early projects included the design of the Museum for African Art in New York, where David met his future wife Liz Bigham. Liz and David were married in 1995.

From these early collaborative experiences, David’s architectural practice developed an extensive track record of working in association with other designers including projects with noted architects such as Sir David Adjaye of London, Santiago Calatrava of Valencia, Hayaki Kita of Osaka, and Ricardo Legorretta of Mexico City, along with other designers based in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, Armenia, and Japan.

As these early commissions were completed, the firm of David Hotson Architect began to attract independent commissions of greater size and complexity. Notable among recent projects is the SkyHouse, a four-level penthouse situated at the summit of one of the oldest surviving skyscrapers in Manhattan. The project, which is the residence of a Google entrepreneur, was executed in collaboration with the interior designer, and fellow Bryn Athyn College graduate, Ghislaine Vinas (AA ’88). SkyHouse received extensive media coverage and a number of national and international design awards, including receiving the ‘Apartment of the Decade’ award from Interior Design magazine in 2015.

David’s current architectural commissions include a church and community center for the Armenian Church of Saint Sarkis outside Dallas Texas, a six-bedroom villa on the shore of the Caribbean in St. Barthes, and a design proposal for a seven floor penthouse at the summit of the 1914 Woolworth Building, one of the most celebrated skyscrapers in New York City.