This year the first seven-year Comprehensive Campaign for the Ukrainian Catholic University, “A New Generation for a New Ukraine,” is coming to a close. The last event of the campaign was the 9th Charitable Evening in Support of UCU, which was held in Kyiv on 3 December. Benefactors and sponsors of UCU pledged 6.5 million hryvnias in support of the university. And the Zahorii Family Fund promised another 2. 5 million hryvnias for the development of the recently opened UCU Kyiv Center.
Traditionally the event gathers leading civil and religious activists, representatives of the academic community, the government, and the diplomatic corps, and activists in culture and art who understand the importance of quality higher education for the development of Ukrainian society.
“I want to thank you for being among those who are helping us to fulfill great dreams and plans. Our meeting here demonstrates that we can be together in peace and joy, working together and developing this country. And friendship is what Ukraine is in such need of today,” said UCU’s President, Bishop Borys Gudziak.
The university’s Comprehensive Campaign, “A New Generation for A New Ukraine,” started in 2010. At that time UCU had two faculties and six main educational programs. Today the university has six faculties, eight bachelor’s-degree and nineteen graduate-degree programs, and 22 educational institutes and centers. Thanks to the support of benefactors from various countries and continents, over these years UCU has been able to build an innovative student collegium (residence), a multi-purpose academic building, and the unique University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, and started to build the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Center.
The main thing, however, is not buildings, but what happens in them: the formation of a new generation, education, scholarly and social work, and spiritual life.
“Today we are in such need of good news – good news in Ukraine, for Ukraine, from Ukraine. I think that abroad there are many who speak with fatigue about ‘the Ukrainian question.’ And so there is the question of good news from Ukraine, the question of the state’s security, our development, and possibilities to look ahead with confidence. We are living in a state of war. We need examples of small but real victories in order to see that we can not only fight and hold on, but also win. The Ukrainian Catholic University is this kind of good news, in Ukraine, for Ukraine, and from Ukraine. By supporting the university, you take part in the good news.” His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC, thus addressed the guests.
Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, was an honored guest of the charitable evening in Kyiv. Dr. Suprun was a part of the UCU team, and so knows well about the university’s development.
“Today there is a need for specialists in physical therapy and occupational therapy – specialists who can help people after strokes and wounds of war to adapt to the new realities of their lives. Last year we created a School of Rehabilitation Medicine at UCU. I found at the university those with a like mind, who understand that it is necessary to change the rehabilitation system in Ukraine,” said the Acting Minister of Health.
The Ivanchyk family is one of UCU’s benefactors. The family’s “Povir u sebe” (Believe in Yourself) fund supports students of the university. This year the fund began a competition of scholarly projects to support the scholarly activities of UCU’s teachers. In addition, Viktor Ivanchyk, co-founder of the fund, pledged to support UCU’s Kyiv Center.
“The university bases its activities on values and virtues that are close to every person. I think that UCU centers should appear, like stars, all over Ukraine. They should provide direction for people in need, who cannot otherwise find this compass,” said Iryna Ivanchyk, co-founder of the Believe in Yourself fund.
UCU’s Kyiv Center (vul. Mazepy, 10a) opened on 1 December. The center will be a forum for intellectual discussions, “a bright forum for meetings of people of good will who want a different Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian Catholic University’s first Comprehensive Campaign, “A New Generation for a New Ukraine,” is almost completed. However, work on building Ukraine and forming a new generation has only started.
“The completion of the campaign is far from the end, but only one initial stage. UCU will continue ‘to aspire to greatness,’ to witness and serve, to form a new generation for a new Ukraine. We invite you to dream and fulfill dreams with us,” said Bishop Borys Gudziak.
The Ukrainian Catholic University thanks its partners for supporting the evening. The university wants to express special gratitude to the group Got to be free for the musical entertainment, drive, and mood.
Photo: Oleksandr Laskin