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Helping Ukraine and Beyond

April 11, 2022

To our Stony Brook community,

Part of what defines Stony Brook University as a great institution is its culture of thought and care. As president, I am proud of how our faculty, staff, and students collaborate in our scholarship and in our research. I appreciate how everyone in our community has the opportunity to advocate strongly for their beliefs. And I am grateful for how we all, in times of crisis, are in service to those in need. It is emblematic of how we foster diversity and inclusion, making it foundational to our work and how we look after each member of our community, including our international scholars and students.

We are horrified daily by the brutal atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. It has been particularly painful for those whose friends and families are deeply impacted, and for all of us who are seeing the Ukrainian people both resist and suffer. It has spurred action on our campus. It catalyzed people to reach out and help those impacted by the ongoing war, and it pushed our students, faculty, and staff to educate themselves on what this current international conflict means for the world.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, the Student Affairs Student Support Team immediately reached out to Stony Brook’s Ukrainian students to offer assistance and inform them of available resources. These resources include encouraging students from Ukraine to apply for an extension of payment deadlines through the Fall 2022 semester. In addition, leaders with the Intensive English Center and The Program in Writing and Rhetoric are coordinating efforts to offer help and training for Ukrainians who are expected to arrive in the area in the coming weeks as refugees.

Individual groups at Stony Brook University launched several efforts to support Ukrainian students and scholars. They include a university teach-in last month on the war in Ukraine, organized by the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting; a collaboration to finance short-term visits to Stony Brook for Ukrainian scientists by the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, the Department of Mathematics, and the Simons Foundation; and various student-led fundraising and donation efforts.

In addition, the Office of the Provost is instituting several more programmatic initiatives to help Ukrainian students and scholars. These are cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary, and they are aimed at helping college students and scholars at every level. You can find a summary of these initiatives here. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to send an email to

These efforts show a meaningful commitment on the part of Stony Brook University and its community to make a difference in the lives of others. At the same time, our efforts around the war in Ukraine bring up an important reminder to us all about diversity, equity, and inclusion: There are others in the world who are suffering. I believe it is incumbent upon us all to take care to acknowledge the struggles of other people and nations worldwide, and to make a sincere effort to help if we can. I hope our collective efforts to assist Ukraine can serve as a future template for creating similar relief offerings for those suffering from unconscionable acts of inhumanity in other parts of the world.

At Stony Brook University, we welcome more than 4,400 international students from more than 100 countries each year. This is a point of honor, and we consider it our duty to help our global community. When we do so, we are stronger together.


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Maurie McInnis