“Kharkiv Terrace” Honors Alumnus’ Historic Contribution

June 12, 2017

It’s CEU history, set in brass and stone.

The Kharkiv Terrace, commemorating CEU’s greatest act of alumni philanthropy, was unveiled on Saturday, May 13 while some of the university’s most dedicated alumni supporters looked on. See photos. 

The small rooftop monument honors CEU alumnus and benefactor Konstantin Kurganov (LEGS ’94) who last December gifted $50,000 to the Alumni Campaign, the largest single donation in campaign history.

Konstantin said he hoped to start an alumni tradition with the marker (itself another first for the university), which he opted to name after his hometown rather than himself.

During the unveiling CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff lauded Konstantin’s longstanding generosity as well as the humility of the gesture.

“He was moved,” said Serge Sych (IRES ’97, LEGS ’99), CEU Vice President for Enrolment, Careers and Alumni Relations. “It was a visionary, powerful gift but modest in its delivery.”

Consisting of a freestanding brass orb and a stone silhouette of the city, the Kharkiv Terrace symbolically links the two communities important to Konstantin: his hometown and CEU. The orb was designed by Konstantin’s daughter, Olesia Kurganova, who also spoke at the unveiling.

Konstantin insisted upon locating it where students would congregate – making its Nador 13 rooftop home the natural choice. While the installation will hopefully set a precedent for other donors, Olesia said it could also serve as a good luck charm for students, who could lay hands prior to big exams, for example.

Part of this year’s Alumni Reunion Weekend, the unveiling was attended by several dozen of CEU’s most active and distinguished alumni and was followed by a reception. Although briefly menaced by a flash thunderstorm, the clouds quickly parted and sunlight returned, allowing the reception to proceed.

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