Stronger. Together: Online Meetups Draw Hundreds Worldwide

January 19, 2021

From Saskatoon to Johannesburg - CEU alumni on five continents joined together for Decembers #StrongerTogetherCEU online alumni meetups.  

More than 100 alumni and friends around the world attended last month’s gatherings to reconnect with friends and classmates, and to stand in solidarity with our CEU family at the close of a very challenging year. (Thanks to everyone – it was great to see you!)  

The meetups were hosted on Zoom by local alumni chapters around the world, drawing alumni plus current students, faculty and staff.  

“That need for human connection and community that we’ve all felt throughout the pandemic drew alumni and students to these meetups – despite Zoom fatigue,” said Nurangiz Khodzharova (IRES ’08), Alumni Volunteer Programs Coordinator 

Maximizing this technology – and the spirit of the event – several chapters hosted joint events, linking alumni from multiple locations. CEU Alumni Relations staff attended most events, sharing updates with alumni and personally thanking them for their support through what’s been a truly challenging year for everyone. 

Zeroing in: alumni meetups map: 

Some alumni said the online format allowed them to attend for the first time.

Yet, despite the distance and the screens, this year’s meetups felt more like family gatherings. CEU couples – some with children – joined. Others raised a glass in toast, sharing cherished memories and photos. Alumni told stories of CEU days or lockdown survival. New ideas were pitched, new connections made.

These gatherings coincided with December’s year-end matching gift challenge of the same name, during which hundreds of alumni raised nearly $140,000 in support of CEU’s future. (The North American meetup featured a raffle for gift cards to thank alumni for joining and giving during November’s Giving Tuesday.)

HUGE THANKS to everyone who joined last month’s meetups to share memories and stand in solidarity with our alma mater. Extra special thanks to the following Alumni Chapter Leaders for coordinating these events and brining everyone together!  

Anna Bara (HIST ’03, Austria)
Ilona Beatrice Polyak (BUSI ’10, USA), Angelina Pienczykowski (IRES ’14, USA), Rasti Nikolic (BUSI ’13, USA), Tony Kitchen (IRES ’15, USA) and Chad Poitras (IRES ’05, Canada)
Debjyoti Ghosh (LEGS ’11, South Africa)
Zorana Gajic (POLS ’97, Germany)
Igor Gavric (DPP ’12, UAE)
Ekaterina Radaeva (LEGS ’99, Czech Republic)
Cristina Turcu (POLS ’08, Moldova)
Eylem Tasdemir (GENS ’17, Netherlands)
Ivan Nikolovski (POLS ’17, North Macedonia)
Natalia Gurgurova (IRES ’13, Russia) and Fedor Veselov (SOCI ’18, Russia)

*Note: map and borders (above) are preset by the Datawrapper platform and do not necessarily reflect the views of CEU or the CEU Alumni Relations office.