The Ongoing War in Ukraine

March 15, 2022

This message was sent to members of the Bryn Mawr College community on March 15, 2022.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We write today about the ongoing war in Ukraine, its impact on community members, and opportunities to learn about the evolving situation.

Bryn Mawr is a community that adheres to democratic ideals, to peaceful resolution of conflict, and to the exercise of respect and care for human dignity and life.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has produced horrifying violence and destruction, and we join many around the world standing in support of the Ukrainian people. We offer our care and support to faculty, staff, and students directly affected by the war and who may have families and loved ones touched by this desperate situation.  In our efforts to support Ukraine, we are also mindful that our actions ought not to harm or breed hate for the many people of Russia who do not support the war-time behaviors of their government. 

As Dean Walters, Dean Cheng, and Dean Shapiro wrote in their message of February 24, the College is eager to provide direct support to students affected by this situation.  The deans have been actively reaching out to students.  In case this outreach has missed anyone and to assist those actively supporting students, please note the following information:

  • For any student needing immediate counseling support, please reach out to the Health Center. 
  • Undergraduate students needing financial assistance for immediate needs can apply to the Student Assistance Fund
  • Graduate students needing financial assistance should reach out to Dean May Cheng ( or x5357) to apply for emergency funds. 
  • For students concerned about returning home over the summer, please see your dean for housing and summer employment options. 
  • Any questions about visa status and support should be directed to Patti Lausch ( or x7390). 
  • For students concerned about the impacts on financial aid, please reach out to Susan Chadwick ( or x7922).

Faculty are encouraged to be mindful of the ways that students will be affected by this crisis and to offer accommodations wherever possible to any impacted students.

The Provost’s Office is working with faculty and professional organizations to explore the possibility of hosting one or two refugee scholars from Ukraine on an interim basis.  Typically, displaced students are supported through professional organizations that assist refugees.  Chief Enrollment Officer Cheryl Horsey will explore the possibility of hosting undergraduate or graduate students as transfer students.  Given the refugee crisis and the scale of the displacement, it will likely take time to make these kinds of arrangements

At the current time, there are no Bryn Mawr students studying abroad in Russia, Ukraine, or bordering countries. Students who had plans to study abroad through the Russian Language and Area Studies Program in AY ’23 are being assisted in finding alternative locations. In 2014, due to Russia’s invasion of Crimea and other international infractions by the Putin regime, our Russian Flagship program moved from St. Petersburg, Russia to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and more recently to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Bryn Mawr does not have any formal research arrangements or joint research funding in Russia.  Some colleagues maintain informal research connections to Russian scholars, and the College supports their continued engagement with their Russian counterparts.

Finally, while in many ways the level of atrocity taking place in the Ukraine is unfathomable, the College’s educational mission highlights the importance of building understanding in support of effective action.  We are grateful to the Bryn Mawr Department of Russian for organizing a very informative Bi-Co Teach-In about the invasion on March 2.  On March 25th the Spring Voices Lecture Series will feature a virtual discussion with Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich, who will be joined by Assistant Professor of Russian José Vergara to discuss Chernobyl and its environmental effects as well as recent events in Ukraine and Belarus. Please register here for this virtual event.

The President’s Office is offering support for anyone who wants to organize additional Teach-Ins (please contact Ruth Lindeborg at  The Provost’s Office can offer course development funds for anyone interested in developing related courses or workshops.

We must remain hopeful that peace will eventually be restored in Ukraine.  As a community Bryn Mawr will continue to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and those who are working to bring about peace and address the senseless damages being leveled against a country, its infrastructure, and its people.

Kim Cassidy, President
Tim Harte, Provost

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