Seven essential ways you can be very helpful

In 2014, two of my daughters – then teenagers – took part in a remarkably creative and inspiring Ukrainian language and culture Summer School sponsored by Ukrainian Catholic University. I would wish for your children (or grandchildren, niece or nephew) an equally rewarding experience while learning their ancestral language, and gaining invaluable exposure to Ukraine’s rich history, traditions, and culture. My daughters still reminisce with her friends about their unforgettable visits to the Carpathian Mountains, medieval castles, museums, and the many new friends they met from around the world.

This kind of experience was possible only because of the unique resources provided by the Ukrainian Catholic University. UCU is an independent, non-profit institution, the first Catholic University on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Although this University is only 27 years old, it is already considered one of the best universities in the country, with an outstanding faculty of history, philosophy, foreign languages and applied sciences. This university has already had a profound impact on Ukraine’s recent history as its students and faculty have played a key role in the country’s reform movement, culminating in the Orange Revolution of 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity (Euromaidan) of 2013-14.

This year was very difficult for many organizations in Ukraine and in North America, and it was very challenging for our colleagues at UCU. The University was forced to cancel several major projects. In just a few days, it had to move all educational processes online, and this resulted in the loss of significant revenues from the international students that normally would have attended classes last summer. Its budget was also affected by the cancellation of many conferences and hall rentals that would have helped to cover its budget shortfall. Much of the University’s staff took significant cuts in salary. Despite these setbacks, UCU successfully finished its academic year last summer and resumed in-person classes in the fall. I’m pleased to tell you that this year, UCU enrolled a freshman class of 438 students – 100 more than the previous year, and for the third year in a row, our incoming students scored the highest average scores on national achievement tests (similar to our SATs) of any university in Ukraine.

With the vaccines, we are confident that this terrible pandemic will end. By next summer, we believe that we will be able to open UCU’s doors for a new influx of young people from around the world to give them a chance to experience first-hand the cultural riches of Ukraine and to strengthen their knowledge of the Ukrainian language.

Today we are reaching out to you for your support. We know that this crisis has affected many families differently, and we hope that your family and your loved ones have remained safe and secure, without suffering any job losses or personal difficulties. Some of our former summer students’ parents have asked what they can do to help the Ukrainian Catholic University so that it can continue to thrive during this difficult period. We would like to suggest seven essential ways you can be very helpful. Your support in any of these areas would be deeply appreciated:

1) Be an UCU Ambassador: help us to share information about UCU’s successful summer programs, help us to recruit new students and new donors to support UCU;

2) Personal introductions: Please introduce us to friends and potential donors that you believe would be inspired by UCU’s mission. We would be happy to send them materials about our Summer School, or schedule a phone conference or Zoom call to provide more information;

3) Join one of our Friends of UCU committees, located in the United States and abroad. Our committees organize gala banquets and other enjoyable events in support of the Ukrainian Catholic University.

4) Scholarships: Although UCU’s tuition is very modest compared to most western universities, it is still very daunting for the average Ukrainian family. You can fund a full scholarship for one of UCU’s talented students with an annual gift of $3,300 or you can help them cover the cost of a full semester with a gift of $1,750. You can make your gift by check or on-line at

5) Faculty Support: You can help support UCU’s dedicated teachers that make a difference in our students’ lives. For a gift of $12,000 per year, or $1,000 per month, your gift can cover the salary for one UCU professor. Even a smaller gift can help provide a bonus or help restore part of the salary cuts that our professors have suffered.

6) Donate stocks. You can help UCU’s students with your donation of stocks or securities. Our experienced staff will explain all the possible options available for you. Please contact UCEF at (773)235-8462 or, to learn how you can make a convenient stock donation.

7) Legacy Gift. You can ensure that the mission of the Ukrainian Catholic University continues to thrive in the future by making a legacy gift to UCEF through your will or estate plan, or by making UCU the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss other opportunities to help UCU, please do not hesitate to contact us at: (773)235-8462 or send a message to Please know that we deeply appreciate your support, and we are always grateful for your kind consideration.

In the meantime, I want to wish you and your family the very best of health, joy and prosperity in the New Year.

With best regards,
Alex Kuzma
Chief Development Officer

PS. Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF) is a fundraising hand for UCU here in the United States.

Learn more about UCU Summer School click HERE