CUCelebrates Raises More Than $100,000


Jeremy Lozada

Ryan Skryd, assistant videographer, films Dr. Russell Dawn and Jeff Hynes in the CULearn Center.

Jeremy Lozada

Concordia University Chicago on March 1 called on alumni and donors for the annual CUCelebrates Livestream event, ultimately surpassing the goal of $100,000 in donations.

Foundation CEO Jeff Hynes hosted the event on a live online stream from the CULearn space in the Christopher Center and from the Koehneke Community Center.

March 1 has been the Foundation of Concordia University Chicago’s annual day of giving for the past three years. Previously, the annual push for donations had been pegged to Valentine’s Day with the tagline “I Heart CUC.”

“We knew we had to get this out there as a one-day opportunity to just blitz,” said Margaret Busse, senior director, operations, research, and donor management.

The 2021 CUCelebrates took the form of a 12-hour-long live stream, taking place in the Depew Center in the West Annex. The lengthy event earned a record amount of donations for CUC, raking in more than $145,000 over that time span. “The 2021 event was planned as a day to bring awareness to CUC’s annual day of giving by hosting something so involved and different,” Busse said.

This year’s event was shortened and split into four segments over the course of the day.

The donations fund numerous student body resources across the university. The primary avenue this went to is the emphasis of students as artists through the music and art programs while also benefiting those of the student-athlete experience.

One live streaming segment featured percussionist Adam Schweyer, a junior studying music education, performing with the university band.

Junior Adam Schweyer and Foundation CEO Jeff Hynes speak in the KCC dining hall.

A portion of the donations received during CUCelebrates went to CUC’s music department to help pay for the student ensembles’ domestic performance tours each semester. The funding allows students to travel at no cost to them.

“It’s a foundation of our university,” said Schweyer. “When it comes to music, touring is something that’s not unique to us, but is very special.”

CUC president Russell P. Dawn, D.Phil., also made an appearance to discuss how this support went to helping students on campus. The Lutheran Identity Fund and the Dr. Rosa J. Young Scholarship will also support students learning in church work studies and majors, Dawn said.

The new Dr. Rosa J. Young Scholarship is an endowment for incoming African American students who want to study church ministry. “Her heritage is living through this scholarship,” said Dawn. “The Gospel is for everyone; we want people of all races hearing it and preaching it.”

By the end of the day, CUC received more than $101,000 from nearly 200 donors.