Photos by Tom Weis.

Just a month ago, the pulsating energy of our annual gala electrified Ideal Glass in the heart of NYC. Nearly 200 professionals converged within its walls, their voices intertwining with the clinking of glasses as they shared stories, all while ushering in a new era for our organization.

This gala wasn’t just an event; it was a pivotal moment for CSU. With our freshly minted brand taking center stage, this soirée marked the inaugural unveiling of our emblem of unity and collaboration. Crafted a year ago, our logo embodies our adaptive spirit, mirroring the ever-evolving landscape of our environment and technologies while remaining steadfast.

The brand revamp wasn’t merely superficial; it was a profound shift in our ethos, aimed at not only revitalizing our identity system but also rejuvenating our interactions with our audience. Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between generations, we orchestrated a gala that transcended tradition, catalyzing intergenerational dialogue and igniting a spark of youth outreach.

As the evening unfolded, hope and inspiration swelled within the room, carried by impassioned speeches from luminaries within our ranks—Rick Bell, Lance Jay Brown, Aliye P. Çelik, Nicholas Hamilton, Jhaelen Hernandez-Eli, Şulan Kolatan, and Yasemin Kologlu. Yet, it was the voices of Xiye Bastida, Mimi Hoang, Eric Bunge, and Ron McCoy that truly captivated us, weaving narratives of resilience and vision for the future.

That night, beneath the shimmering lights and amongst the camaraderie, magic transpired. Bound by a collective vision for the greater good, we emerged revitalized, fueled by a renewed commitment to share knowledge and uplift the next generation of trailblazers who will shape our world.

As we embark on the journey ahead, upheld by the generosity of our sponsors and the unwavering support of our community, our resolve remains unshakable. Together, we stride forward with boundless optimism, poised to offer nothing less than our very best to the world we serve.

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Reflections from the 2024 Gala