Dear Alumni: Letter from the Rector

January 16, 2020
Dear Alulmni,

As a new decade dawns, let me wish you and your loved ones a year filled with joy, inspiration and hope.

Looking back on 2019, I am bowled over by how much was accomplished. In just five months, we established and opened a new campus in Vienna and were received with open arms and an unflagging generosity of spirit. At the same time, we pledged to maintain a presence in Budapest, the city that will always remain our spiritual home. We teamed up with six of Europe’s leading universities to create CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences that links teaching and learning, research and innovation across cultures, borders and disciplines. We welcomed a terrific new class in September - CEU’s first bi-campus cohort. And we continue to explore and debate some of the most complex issues of our time, and provide solutions for some of our greatest challenges.  

2020 promises to be no less exciting. The next incoming class is set to start their studies in our new Viennese home, and—most excitingly—we are expanding our teaching portfolio into undergraduate studies. Building on the strengths of our world-class graduate teaching and research, the new BAs in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Culture, Politics, and Society (CPS) combine the very best of American and European traditions and nurture critical, analytical and creative thinkers who seek to find solutions to the problems of tomorrow. This is a major milestone in CEU’s history. Now I’m asking for your help in recruiting a very strong first cohort. Please share the above links with prospective undergraduate students and encourage them to apply today. Each pioneering member of the inaugural class will receive a 50 percent tuition award for the full duration of their studies, while the brightest will also benefit from the recently established Presidential Scholars Program.

CEU remains true to the vision of its founders and will continue to support talented graduate students from all over the world to learn, grow and fulfill their potential. CEU alumni have helped make this institution what it is. As you are our best ambassador, please help us recruit those talented students. If you know someone who would be a good fit for CEU, please share this with them so they can apply by our financial aid deadline, January 30. Want to become even more involved in helping your university attract top students? Please also consider joining our alumni student recruitment volunteer program.

I am, as ever, both grateful and moved by alumni support for our university. Last month my wife, Zsuzsanna and I pledged $75,000 in support of student scholarships, and we challenged CEU’s alumni to follow suit. Not only did your fellow alumni meet the challenge - they surpassed it, raising more than $107,000 in support of the future of this university. I want to thank our alumni donors for supporting this important appeal and making a CEU education a reality for future students.

However, this promises to be another challenging year for CEU. And while we enjoy the continued - and deeply generous - support of our Founder, as well as dedicated alumni donors like you, we must continue to diversify and create additional sources of financing, to allow our university to continue its important work. Therefore, please help your university build upon its recent successes. Please make your gift, in any amount, in support of CEU’s future today.

Finally, please join me and hundreds of your fellow alumni for this year’s Alumni Reunion Gala on Saturday, May 9 in Budapest. I hope to see you there.

Best regards,
Michael Ignatieff
President and Rector
Central European University