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CEU Business School recently marked its 25th anniversary by hosting a special gala alumni dinner, held at Budapest’s Festetics Palace. Representing 15 countries, over 100 alumni from the first year to recent graduates attended. Alumni Relations Manager Veronika Kovács, who organized the celebration, said, “Not only did so many attend, representing all classes—from the very first class to our current students, but we were able to raise a large amount of funding for MBA scholarships in honor of this event.”
Borbála Czakó, an alumna from the Business School’s first year, spoke of how the School prepared her for her professional accomplishments, among them becoming a Global Partner with Ernst & Young, supervising thousands of employees and being invited to Fortune magazine’s upcoming most powerful women summit. She underscored the importance of education and her enduring gratitude to CEU Business School.
Czakó recalled a conversation she had with CEU Business School founder George Soros as a student, stating that Soros wanted graduates to return home in order to help enact the change necessary in their regions. Czakó concluded by elaborating on the importance of alumni giving back to the School.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation by current full-time MBA students Jamie White, Rebecca Joyner and Mark Davison, who together formed Wymeria, the recent winner of the “Your Move” New Venture Competition held jointly with NASDAQ OMX and Prezi. Joyner, White and Davison showed alumni the presentation they delivered at the NASDAQ Marketsite during the New York City MBA Module, which received much acclaim and would launch a sustainable tourism venture in the Mississippi Delta Region.
Business School Dean Mel Horwitch observed that the Business School represents a 21st century version of the Open Society, which is part of CEU’s founding mission. He reflected on his arrival to the school three years ago, adding that thanks to faculty, students and alumni, he now better understands that one characteristic that differentiates CEU Business School from other American and Western MBA programs is that the School fills a key need: teaching effective business practices for regions that lack and need such competencies. Horwitch closed his speech by reminding the audience of the upcoming launch of the collaborative faculty book Free Market in its Twenties: Modern Business Decision Making in Central and Eastern Europe.
CEU’s Vice President for Alumni & Corporate Relations Serge Sych wished everyone a “Happy Birthday”, adding that he would like to one day take courses in the School.
All alumni present cherished the opportunity to catch up with old classmates and to make new connections with students from other years. The festive atmosphere that enveloped the evening carried on long into the night, even after the official gala wrapped up.