2nd Annual CERGE-EI Graduation Gala: A Night We Won’t Soon Forget!

On Saturday, May 31st, the CERGE-EI community reunited to celebrate yet another successful year providing top notch economic research and education. The spectacular Gala was filled with speeches, gourmet food, live music and dancing. Alumni, students, faculty, board members, corporate partners, and supporters celebrated throughout the evening together. And of course all the guests were amazed by the exquisite neo-renaissance palatial rooms of CERGE-EI’s Schebek Palace.

All who attended will agree: the 2nd Annual Graduation Gala at CERGE-EI was an unbridled success. We welcomed over 150 guests—students, alumni, faculty and staff, the members of our governing bodies, as well as our donors and other business guests.

The Gala started with a champagne reception accompanied by a live jazz quartet. Dressed in their best suits and dresses, most guests were eager to have their ‘celebrity photo’ on the red carpet at the top of CERGE-EI’s regal marble stairwell. An audience gathered to hear welcome speeches by Susan Walton (CERGE-EI Foundation Board member) and Jan Švejnar (a ‘Founding Father’ of CERGE-EI and Chairman of the ESC). Professor Švejnar proudly announced the winner of the New Economic Talent Competition, a new CERGE-EI competition which invited undergraduate students world-wide to submit their research papers.

Before dinner, guests also heard a keynote speech by Magdalena Souček, the Country Managing Partner of EY Czech Republic. Ms. Souček spoke about the importance of quality higher education in Czech Republic and the wider region, and expressed her gratitude to CERGE-EI for educating the next generation of scholars and leaders.

After a wonderful dinner, the Gala continued with remarks by Randall Filer (Professor of Economics at Hunter College-CUNY and president of the CERGE-EI Foundation USA), a touching speech by PhD graduate Petar Stankov, and remarks from Jan Novotny (CERGE-EI alumnus and member of the CERGE-EI Foundation US Board of Directors). CERGE-EI Student Alexandra Pohylkov then delighted the audience with a wonderful singing performance.

Guests enjoyed some elegant dancing to the live band before CERGE-EI students began announcing the ‘student superlatives’ awards, which included ‘The Beautiful Mind Award’, ‘The Mother Teresa Award’, ‘The Ponzi Award’, and ‘The Nightmare on Politickych Veznu Award’.

The mood shifted from elegance to revelry as the hours passed. With the live band bringing up the energy, everyone was eager to show off their dance moves under the chandeliers and frescoes in the main ballroom. The band eventually had to go home, but an energetic DJ jumped in without missing a beat and kept the music and dancing going until the late hours of the night.

Now for the second year in a row, the Gala is quickly becoming CERGE-EI tradition. Once a year, the students, faculty, staff, alumni and affiliates who make CERGE-EI such a successful place deserve a night like this. With each passing year, the Gala offers the best opportunity for the CERGE-EI community to reunite and celebrate. Looking forward to next year!

See the gala photos here!

We would like to once again express our sincere gratitude to the supporters of the event: EY (Ernst & Young), Martin Kálovec (BCG), Benson Oak, Jack Stack (Česká spořitelna), OGResearch, CERGE-EI Foundation and Nadace members, the Stapleton-Springer Winery, and the Herold Březnice Brewery.

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