President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.


The news from Ukraine grows more heartbreaking every day. People who two weeks ago went about their daily routines are now torn from their homes, separated from loved ones, fleeing for their lives. 

For those of us fortunate to have never experienced war – especially a war in our own land – it’s difficult to imagine the terror and the heart-rending choices people are forced to make. 

The war’s impacts reach beyond the borders of Ukraine, bringing thousands of refugees, along with turmoil and uncertainty, to other Eastern European countries. Here in the U.S., there are ways we can help, such as contributing to relief efforts. Beyond that, however, many of us feel powerless – and many feel fearful as well. Large, worldwide uncertainties loom. This war in Ukraine will be felt everywhere – we just don’t know how yet. 

But in all this turmoil, there are reasons for hope. We can take hope from the courage of the Ukrainian people, defending their homes, their country, and their right to determine their own future. In responses around the world, we see that most people want peace, not conflict.

We stand with Ukraine and with our Ukrainian community, here at VCU and in Richmond. Students, faculty, and staff with ties to Ukraine can find support through the Global Education Office and Division of Student Affairs. My sympathies are also with those in our community with ties to Russia and Eastern Europe, who are also affected by this conflict.

I join with our VCU community, and with people around the world, in hoping that peace comes swiftly, for Ukraine and for us all.

Categories Periodic update, To VCU
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