CEU alumni and friends closed 2020 by raising nearly $140,000 in support of CEU through last month's #StrongerTogetherCEU Matching Gift Challenge, providing vital support that enables CEU to continue providing the highest quality education for outstanding students from around the world.
“What a year it was,” said Dr. Serge Sych (International Relations ‘97, Legal Studies ‘99) CEU VP for Enrollment, Careers and Alumni Relations. “We are grateful to CEU alumni donors and the entire community for their support, especially during 2020 which was extremely difficult for everyone. They proved that we are truly ‘stronger together.’”
The VP noted that last month’s challenge brings the overall total of alumni giving to $1.5 million. More than 3,500 graduates around the world have contributed to the CEU Alumni Campaign since it was established.
Last month’s #StrongerTogetherCEU challenge was initiated by Board Development Chair Kati Marton and a group of Trustees to drive year-end giving, and was officially rolled out on CEU’s November 30 Day of Thanks event. Throughout the month of December, gifts to CEU, made mostly by alumni, were generously matched, one for one, magnifying the support made by the CEU community and exceeding the $100,000 goal set by members of the CEU Board of Trustees.
“I want to thank the friends and alumni of CEU who rose to meet our Trustee match in December. Your support will empower talented students and build upon 2020’s hard-won successes. It is with great excitement that we now look towards a brighter 2021 and furthering CEU’s mission,” Marton said.
Joining the challenge were 293 donors contributing a total of $139,440. CEU alumni participation made up 95 percent of contributing individuals, generating $76,910 of the funds raised. Additionally, Friends of CEU gave a total of $62,530.
Giving as an alumna, Esther Ebimoghan (Nigeria, Legal Studies '20), former Alumni Scholarship Recipient, reflected, “I am glad to be part of the Alumni Donors Family. I think CEU does a whole lot for us students, I'm glad I can give my little bit.” Alumna Biljana Lalic (Croatia, Nationalism Studies '16) also shared her experience, remarking, “The more time passes, the more I'm grateful for what CEU gave me. Giving back and supporting students that I once was feels so good! It's like finally being able to treat your parents with a nice dinner after them feeding you for so long.”
As December 2020 marked the end of a particularly challenging year, the results of the recent campaign demonstrate the CEU community’s solidarity in support of the university’s future. Looking ahead to 2021 and CEU’s 30th anniversary year, the impact of the Matching Gift Challenge will advance university priorities such as the new undergraduate programs, planning for CEU’s future campus at Steinhof, the Democracy Institute and, most importantly, aid for students, including through the Alumni Scholarship Program.
To the Trustees, donors and CEU’s global network who made the Matching Gift Challenge a success, Vice President for Development Trisha Tanner said, “We are so grateful for your generosity. Your gift is already making a difference. We couldn’t have reached our 2020 goal without each and every one of you. On behalf of the entire CEU community, thank you!”