Bill Cooper Named to Engineering Wall of Fame

Author: Engineering Alumni Office

Posted on Feb 2, 2020

Category: Alumni Spotlight

On January 31st, 2020 the UNB Engineering Wall of Fame had a new face on display: Bill Cooper (BScCE'62) was honoured with the Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award at the Annual Engineering Awards Dinner held on campus. 

In addition to Bill, over 100 students were in attendance to receive awards and scholarships, and the room was filled with faculty, alumni and employers from across the region. 

William Press Cooper (Bill) is CEO of Cooper Construction, a third-generation family-owned Canadian construction and real estate development company in Oakville, Ontario. He came to UNB’s Civil Engineering program from the Hamilton/Burlington area based on a recommendation from a neighbour whose son had attended UNB. Bill told the audience at the event of stories from his time as a student, including how he was one of the very first students into the newly opened Aitken House, and he got in early so he could choose a bottom floor in order to have a window "for easy access any time of day or night."

Bill graduated in 1962 and went straight to work at the family company, first as a Project Engineer then working his way up to President and Chief Executive Officer in 1978. Under his leadership, the company has become an industry pioneer in design/build and expanded to commercial and industrial real estate development as well as facilities management.

Bill has served as a director of other corporations including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Clarica Life Insurance Company, Laidlaw Inc., Ontario Place Corporation, CTV Inc., Stelco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc.

 A deep commitment to serving the community is a family and company tradition that Bill is passionate about.  He’s served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and co-chair of the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital Fundraising Campaign. He was President of the Hamilton Wentworth Business Advisory Council, the Hamilton and District Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton YMCA. He is a former member of the Board of Governors and past chair of the Business Advisory Council for the business school at McMaster University.

Bill is a generous donor to McMaster University, local hospitals and numerous other organizations, including UNB. In addition to gifts to the President’s Fund and various campaign projects, he also established the prestigious William P. Cooper Scholarship awarded each year to two civil engineering students at UNB.

Bill was congratulated by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Chris Diduch, along with Chancellor and engineering alumnus Allison McCain. 

See others on the Wall of Fame here.