Union Notables

Estelle Cooke-Sampson    class of 1974

Estelle Cooke-Sampson, image courtesy of Office of Communications, Union College

Dr. Estelle Cooke-Sampson, Union College class of 1974 - physician, humanitarian, officer - was one of the one hundred women in Union's first coed class.  She, along with her late brother Gerald, class of 1973, and her brother Lawrence, class of 1977, attended Union on loans, grants, and scholarships, not to mention numerous part-time jobs.  At Union she majored in Biology, and then went on to Georgetown University, earning an M.D. in 1978.

Dr. Cooke-Sampson served as a medical officer with the U.S. Public Health Service and worked in rural Delaware providing primary health care.  After her residency and fellowship in radiology, she worked at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. as a partner with Metropolitan Radiology Associates for fourteen years.  She then joined Howard University Hospital in 1999 where she is an associate professor of diagnostic radiology.  She was Associate Chief of Saint Mary's Hospital, Department of Radiology, in Leonardtown, Maryland for two years.  She served on the board of Medicine in Washington, D.C. for over four years and is a full partner with Radiology Associates in Baltimore, MD. 

Dr. Cooke-Sampson is a full Colonel and State Surgeon for the District of Columbia Army National Guard where she has served for over twenty-five years.  She was called to active duty during Operation Desert Storm and participated in many state, national and international missions, and duties.  These include several humanitarian missions and presidential inaugurations.

She has made many lasting and meaningful contributions to Union College.  In 1977 she and her siblings established the Cooke Family Scholarship which supports students with the greatest financial need from underserved backgrounds.  As an outstanding and dedicated alumna to Union College, the College has bestowed on her several awards.  In 1995 Dr. Cooke-Sampson was awarded Union's Eliphalet Nott Medal which recognizes the perseverance of alumni who have attained great distinction in his or her field.  She is one of the first recipients of this award, which was established in 1995.  In 2004, at her 30th ReUnion, the Alumni Council awarded her the Alumni Gold Medal for her many years of distinguished service to the College.  The Unitas Meritorious Diversity Award was presented to her in 2008 for her work in promoting diversity on campus.

Dr. Cooke-Sampson is a highly respected and admired member of the medical and academic communities and international agencies.  Throughout her career, public service has been a hallmark of her life.  At Union College, she was a volunteer with Big Sisters in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood, and she has continued to hold a lifelong passion for mentoring, civic service, and volunteerism.  She currently works with and serves on the Board of the Mary Center on Ontario Road in Washington D.C.   This Center provides social, dental, and health care for the underserved.

Estelle Cooke-Sampson is an African American-Korean War orphan who was born in South Korea and came to the United States when she was six years old. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her two daughters, Simone, Union College class of 2010, and Stacie, a senior at Kent School in Connecticut.  She is an avid art collector and enjoys travel, gardening, reading and walking