Spotlight on Impact
Mariia Zivert says she chose to study law to change the world. Originally from Ukraine, she came to Central European University in Vienna for a master’s program in comparative constitutional law. A CEU Alumni Scholarship helped her get there.
Zivert is among the hundreds of students who have received the alumni-funded scholarship since 2001, and in May 2021, she and four fellow recipients shared their experiences in an online panel for CEU Philanthropy Week. Held May 17–21, 2021, the week featured a variety of virtual events exploring trends in philanthropy.
Established in 1991, CEU is a relatively young university. Philanthropy Week is an opportunity to celebrate and educate its community about philanthropy, says Nena Grceva, head of alumni relations.
“We have alumni in 150 countries around the world, and local chapters in more than 90 countries. [Some of] our alumni come from regions and countries where philanthropy is not well developed,” she explains. “Philanthropy Week is one tool to cultivate and build a culture of philanthropy.”
CEU held its first Philanthropy Week in 2017, which included on-campus events and workshops for faculty and staff. The 2021 online program highlighted the many ways CEU students, alumni, staff, and community are involved in philanthropy. It was a joint collaborative project between CEU's development, alumni relations, and community engagement offices, and CEU's Student Philanthropy Council.
Grceva estimates that 200 participants logged on for the week's events. Besides the scholarship panel, the 2021 week also included an expert seminar on American philanthropy in Europe and a student debate on the roles of philanthropy and government.
In a May 19 virtual roundtable called “Doing Good in a Changing World,” five CEU alumni who work at nonprofits discussed flexibility and innovation in philanthropy. Each one, says Grceva, “works in slightly different areas of philanthropy…on issues of social justice, democracy, the environment. These are hot topics in philanthropy, but also for our institution. So, we wanted to showcase the impact their work has in the world and connect it (directly or indirectly) with their CEU education.”
About the author(s)
Meredith Barnett is the Manager of Digital Communications at CASE.
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