You are here: American University President Announcements March 8, 2022

AU Memo Letterhead

Dear AU Community,

The senseless violence and human suffering in Ukraine, the result of the Russian government’s horrific and unprovoked invasion, is a tragedy that we must confront with our hearts, our voices, and our actions.

Many members of our community are affected by these events, including our students, faculty, and staff from Ukraine and Russia and those with family and friends in those countries. Our hearts are with you and our community is here to support you. Since the beginning of the conflict, our teams have reached out to affected students with support, and the International Student and Scholar Services created a working group to determine the areas of most pressing needs and how we can best respond, including through the International Student Emergency Fund. Our mental health support services, including the Counseling Center for students and the BHS service for faculty and staff, are available for anyone who needs them. This week, we will illuminate the Katzen Arts Center with the colors of the Ukrainian flag to represent our caring and support for the people of Ukraine.

The threats to democracy, peace, and security from this invasion are some of the most significant since the end of World War II. While we hope diplomatic efforts can bring an end to the conflict, the American University community is acting on this challenge as true changemakers. Our expert faculty are leading important conversations and research about this matter, not just to give it context, but to promote understanding and resolution. Our students are making their voices heard and offering their help and support to the people of Ukraine, and our teams are engaging our students who are most affected.

American University has always been a place for addressing global conflicts in pursuit of a better world. President Kennedy’s 1963 commencement address at AU called for peace in all time and critically reminded the world of our “most basic common link” as humans. Our School of International Service, built on a call for global purpose by President Eisenhower, is dedicated to “waging peace.” These inspiring visions for a more just and peaceful world could not be more important today.

While there are likely troubling days ahead in this conflict, the AU community will continue supporting one another and those in Ukraine who are suffering so needlessly.