Global Celebration: CEU’s First Online Alumni Reunion Draws Hundreds

May 28, 2020

Covid-19 may have put the world on hold, but it couldn’t stop CEU alumni from coming together for an amazing, first-of-its-kind Online Reunion this month. 

From May 9 to 25, hundreds of alumni and friends logged in from every corner of the globe for an innovative series of social, cultural and career events celebrating CEU and its inspirational global community.

Online Reunion was organized in lieu of CEU’s traditional Alumni Reunion Weekend in Budapest, which was cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Online Reunion drew more registrants than a typical reunion weekend - thus, allowing more alumni to participate than ever before. 

Things got started on Saturday, May 9 with Online Reunion Gala, which drew approximately 200 alumni, students and friends for an energetic and emotional celebration of CEU. See full story.

Other events included: 

Regional and class reunions: More than 50 alumni joined online meetups for their graduating class or local alumni chapter throughout the month. Additional reunions will continue into June. Want to organize yours? Write Nura.

Alumni Talks: More than 100 alumni joined thought-provoking talks by distinguished alumni speakers. 

  • On Tuesday, May 12 alumna and filmmaker Maria Stanisheva (POLS ‘03) spoke about how animated documentaries can drive social change. She shared samples of her work and discussed how animation can help advocate for human rights and explain research beyond academia. 
  • On Thursday, May 14 alumnus and Shanghai-based intercultural leadership consultant Gabor Holch (IRES ’98) gave a timely presentation on navigating virtual teamwork, based on personality styles and cultural differences. 
  • On Thursday, May 21 alumnus and filmmaker Dylan Mohan Gray (HIST '94) spoke of the power of documentaries to save stories from oblivion and their change making potential. He shared clips from his upcoming Netflix documentary and his 2013 award winner Fire in the Blood.

Huge thanks to Maria, Gabor and Dylan, the Center for Arts and Culture, Visual Studies Platform for this great collaboration and thanks to everyone who joined! 

Alumni Leadership Forum: A reunion weekend tradition, ALF went online for the first time on Tuesday, May 19. It drew 22 alumni from around the world to talk volunteering during the COVID era. Volunteers gave an update on what’s happening in their respective chapters. CEU staff discussed new ways to engage – including the ongoing ‘Thesis Buddy’ program – plus upcoming events and more. HUGE THANKS to volunteers for attending and for their important work. Want to get involved? Learn more.

Career Events: On Wednesday, May 20 CEU’s Career Services team hosted more than 30 students and alumni for its first online Living Library event. A Reunion Weekend tradition, Living Library allows graduates to share their experiences with students and provide them with ‘inside information’ on their fields of interest. Living Library included a welcome and introduction, after which students and alumni spoke in smaller breakout groups. Thanks to all alumni ‘books’ for sharing your stories! 

From May 11 to 14 Career Services also hosted its latest ‘Careers In’ online series for students and alumni, focused on the fields of human rights, research and academia, business law and the NGO sector. More than 160 people participated and attended and nine alumni panellists spoke about their career paths and shared info about how Covid-19 might impact their fields. Thank you, alumni panellists! 

Cultural Events: More than 100 alumni joined two great cultural events coordinated by the Center for Arts and Culture. On Monday, May 18 Behind the Baton: The Mystery of Conducting featured renowned conductor Gergely Madaras, who shared a behind-the-scenes view of a conductor’s life. On Monday, May 25, the HerMeS lecture on The Art of Translation featured flutist Noémi Győri and poet and translator Anna T. Szabó for a discussion on interpreters’ creative roles and challenges of the artistic process.  

Just for Fun: CEU’s first-ever Run Club challenged alumni to have fun, stay fit and collectively run more than 1000 km. True to form, they exceeded the goal, with more than 50 alumni logging more than 1150 km during the month! Congrats everyone and thanks! See stats and join the club.  Starting Friday, May 22, CEU Trivia 101 drew more than 50 alumni for the university’s first online Trivia Quiz. Congratulations to alumna Gemma Palievici (IMCE ’00) for outsmarting us all and answering 91 percent of the questions correctly! 

HUGE THANKS to everyone who joined this year’s Online Reunion!