The Comprehensive Campaign for the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) continued with successful fundraising events in the Washington, D.C. area, Chicago, Syracuse (NY), and New York City from October 24 through November 1. The efforts of the staff of UCU and the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF) raised more than $1 million and gave eager audiences entertainment and fresh information about the university’s ongoing achievements and plans, including a speech in Chicago by UCU graduate Bishop Hryhoriy Komar and much more.
The elegant Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA, provided the setting for an event on October 24. Keynote speaker Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, spoke at length about UCU graduate Yuriy Didula, who recently worked for the NED and is now helping build national unity through efforts in eastern Ukraine. “I was impressed with what Yuriy [is] doing,” Gershman said. Dr. Taras Dobko, UCU’s Senior Vice-Rector, also spoke at the event. And the assembled guests enjoyed the music of Viktor Morozov, one of Ukraine’s most popular singer-songwriters.
Chicago on October 25 got to see firsthand the results of an UCU education. Bishop Komar of Ukraine’s Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy (Diocese) spoke about his vocation and his education. And the prelate is actually the second UCU grad to be ordained a bishop. Dr. Sophia Opatska, CEO of UCU’s Lviv Business School, spoke about how UCU is changing the face of entrepreneurship. She was joined by a group of Ukrainian businesspeople who support UCU and flew in for the event. Longtime UCU supporter John Hewko, General Secretary & CEO of Rotary International, explained why he was inspired to help UCU begin its comprehensive campaign in the first place. (Special thanks to Maksym Prokopiv for this photograph.)
Syracuse greeted its native son on October 31. UCU President Bishop Borys Gudziak, recently returned from the synod in Rome, addressed his fellow Syracusans. He was joined by Prof. Pavlo Sheremeta, former Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and currently Director of UCU’s new School of Public Management, and singer Oksana Mukha, who also performed in Chicago and NYC.
In addition to the participation of those who visited Syracuse, New York City on November 1 was also treated to a talk by Prof. Timothy Snyder of Yale. In summary, Dr. Maria Shevchuk-Chaban, one of the original members of the New York Friends of UCU, enthused: “Not only did we reach our goals, but the banquet reflected a sense of community and warmth. And those are priceless!” (Special thanks to Roman Verhnyak for these two photos from the NYC event.)
Special thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the events: donors, volunteers, speakers, and singers! And UCEF’s fundraisers to benefit UCU are set to begin in Canada on November 14 with Toronto, then Montreal on November 15. And Calgary will close the North American season on November 20. If you can, please join us!