A Community United

A NYUAD COVID-19 Community Fund has been raised by the community for the community.

The NYU Abu Dhabi community has joined together to support those in our community who are facing extraordinary financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund was announced as a way for the NYUAD community to act on our collective desire to help one another during these challenging times. In support of the initiative, Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann and her family will donate a matching pledge. 

The community answered the call, and just over a week after the announcement of the fund, community members had already given USD 60,000.

Executive Director of Advancement and Philanthropy Rima Zaitoon said, “Encouraged by the support of Vice Chancellor Westermann and her husband Charlie, the community was motivated to help.” The NYUAD COVID-19 Community Fund is the first initiative of its kind for NYUAD. 


This is such a powerful example of the generosity, care, and commitment of our community.

Mariët Westermann

Members of NYUAD's leadership team Carol Brandt and Diane Yu, as well as a few anonymous donors, subsequently stepped forward to increase the initial match goal.

Donors came from across the NYUAD community, including current students, alumni, family, friends, and a large number of faculty and staff. A plaque to commemorate the generosity of the NYUAD’s community spirit will be displayed on campus. 

Over the past four years, NYUAD has become one of the places where I have truly felt safe because of the consistent and unyielding support from friends, faculty, staff, and contract workers... by donating to the NYUAD COVID-19 Community Fund, I hoped that I could join community efforts to safeguard a sense of security for those who need it the most.

Vongai Mlambo, NYUAD Class of 2020

I was inspired to give back to the community, a place that I have called home for over 4 years now first as a student and now a staff member... I am inspired to see how many people have donated and made an effort, doesn't matter big or small, towards supporting one another. 


Firas Ashraf, NYUAD Class of 2019

I've learned that we can all make a difference in our own way and everyone in this world has something to share... I've donated to an institution that has invested in me, one that I have the honor to call my home with a community I love.

Liria Gjidija, NYUAD Associate Director of Social Responsibility and Community Engagement

The NYUAD COVID-19 Community Fund created to help support NYUAD community members suffering from extraordinary financial hardship and loss due to the pandemic has now raised more than USD 100,000.

The application process to receive funding support is open to everyone within the NYUAD community, including contracted colleagues, with priority given to those who have been most impacted. To date, the Fund has helped more than 900 community members.