“The title of University Professor is the highest designation a faculty member can receive at Carnegie Mellon. University Professors are distinguished by international recognition and for their contributions to education, artistic creativity and/or research,” wrote Carnegie Mellon University Provost James H. Garrett on Wednesday, May 1. “Each University Professor exemplifies a high level of professional achievement, and an exceptional commitment to academic excellence at our university.”

Peter Cooke AM, Ph.D. was named among those who will be recognized with this prestigious honor at Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 19.

Cooke was appointed professor and head of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama in 2009. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Cooke was Deputy Director and Head of Design at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia, and remains a member of the governing NIDA Company. Throughout his career, he has designed more than 150 productions across the disciplines of drama, opera, dance, puppetry, music-theater, television, casinos and large-scale events. He has co-presented the CMU “Excellence in Theater Education Award” during CBS telecasts of the Tony Awards ceremonies in New York City, and is a current member of the Programming Advisory Committee for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Cooke was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list in 2008 for service to the performing arts through theatrical design education, research and administration.

“Being recognized by one’s peers is a great honor,” said Dr. Cooke. “I’m grateful to the faculty, staff and students of the School of Drama for the support, collaboration, and joy they bring on a daily basis.”