Two months after CEU cancelled its annual reunion in Budapest due to Covid-19, alumni are reconnecting virtually during the university’s first-ever Online Alumni Reunion.
Organized by the CEU Alumni Relations Office, in cooperation with other units, Online Reunion is a unique month-long celebration of the university and its vibrant community of 17,000 alumni in more than 140 countries. From May 9 to 25, the program features a first-of-its kind Online Gala plus more than a dozen innovative online events and meetups.
“The past two months have been filled with uncertainty,” said Nena Grceva (GENS ’05), CEU’s Head of Alumni Relations. “We have incredibly supportive alumni, and we felt we owed them a chance to reconnect meaningfully with their alma mater and with each other during these difficult times.”
And alumni are responding. Hundreds have already signed on for events since the program was announced last month. More than 270 alumni from over 50 countries are expected to join the kickoff Online Gala on Saturday, May 9.
The Gala includes an address from President and Rector Michael Ignatieff, music and socializing, a special toast and more. Registrants are encouraged to dress as if for the real thing, in cocktail attire. Alumni created a special Spotify playlist with their favorite CEU tracks, and are invited to continue partying after the official program ends.
“This is an attempt to continue a CEU tradition while adapting to new realities,” Nena said.
The month-long program also includes several smaller, breakout reunions organized by alumni volunteers for specific graduating classes and local alumni chapters.
Online Reunion also celebrates the talent and volunteerism at the heart of CEU’s alumni community. Alumni filmmakers Maria Stanisheva (POLS ’03) and Dylan Mohan Gray (HIST ’94) will host talks on the power of documentaries to drive social change, while alumnus and intercultural leadership coach Gabor Holch (IRES ’98) will host a timely discussion on the challenges of intercultural virtual teamwork.
For alumni volunteers, the Alumni Leadership Forum (May 19) and the Living Library networking event (hosted by the CEU Career Services office on May 20) will make their online debut during Online Reunion. Both are already fully booked.
Culturally rounding out the program are two interactive talks on the power of music with conductor Gergely Madaras (May 18) and flutist Noémi Győri and poet Anna T. Szabó (May 25) brought by the Center for Arts and Culture. For fun, Online Reunion includes an virtual run club, video campus tour (May 16) and online trivia quiz (May 22).
And throughout the month, alongside reunion programming, alumni social media will double down on what it does best – showcasing the best of CEU’s global alumni community.
Online Reunion takes place from May 9 to 25. See full program details and reserve your events today.