Standing Strong (All Year Long): Alumni Reach $1.5 Milestone in 2020

February 16, 2021

2020 was challenging for virtually everybody, including CEU, which faced a year like no other. Yet throughout it all, CEU alumni and friends around the world joined together – and reached a formidable new milestone – in support of their alma mater.

Last year 520 alumni raised a total of $118,024 in support of CEU. By year’s end, capped by a successful matching gift challenge, all-time contributions to the CEU Alumni Campaign topped the $1.5 million mark! (See full stats below.)

The CEU Alumni Campaign was established two decades ago, primarily to provide alumni-supported student scholarships. Overall, more than 3,500 alumni have given to the campaign.

"We're thrilled at reaching this milestone, and are very thankful for the enormous alumni support over the last 20 years," said Dr. Serge Sych (IRES 97, LEGS 99), VP for Enrollment, Careers & Alumni Relations. "Alumni supporters were stronger than ever last year, which was so challenging for so many."

If 2020 presented the university with a series of difficulties - such as relocation and Covid-related restrictions - then the Alumni Campaign enabled alumni to stand tall in the face of such challenges, as underscored by the he campaign’s two most successful appeals.

In spring, as the Covid pandemic shuttered CEU’s two campuses, alumni and friends raised more than $27,000 in emergency aid for students struggling to complete their degrees while sheltering in place. Nearly 200 alumni gave; 41 of them for the first time.

Then, last December, alumni and friends of CEU raised nearly $140,000 in matching funds – exceeding the original goal of $100,000 – after Board of Trustees members urged them to join the #StrongerTogetherCEU matching gift challenge.

During the challenge 293 individual donors made 309 gifts, many which went to student scholarships and the campaign’s unrestricted fund. Twenty-nine alumni made their first ever gift to CEU via the challenge.

Throughout last year’s campaign, 47 donors were welcomed to the Loyalty society, after having made their third consecutive annual gift to CEU. Another four donors, having exceeded giving amounts of $1,000, were inducted into the Milestone society in recognition of their generous support of CEU.

Last year’s campaign saw a shift away from scholarship giving to the campaign’s unrestricted fund – which took in nearly $62,000, thanks largely to the Covid-19 emergency appeal. The campaign’s scholarship fund took in $39,000 in 2020.

Donors from Hungary, Romania and the Russian Federations proved most active in terms of donors and amounts raised in 2020, while the most generous academic units were the Departments of Legal Studies, Economics, Political Science, International Relations and Environmental Sciences.

Many thanks to all alumni donors for your support! Stay tuned for details on how to stay involved during CEU’s 30th Anniversary year via the CEU 2021 Alumni Campaign. See details and get involved today!