The Association of Vermont Independent Colleges (AVIC) has released a statement in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
As presidents of Vermont’s private institutions of higher education, we find the invasion of Ukraine by Russia shocking and unjustified. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the Russians opposed to the war. We condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian Government during this unprovoked act of war and abhor the great suffering, loss of human life, and displacement it is causing.
We instill in our students and adhere to democratic ideals, national sovereignty, truth - not lies - and respect for human dignity and life. The actions of the Russian Government led by Vladimir Putin is an assault on these values.
Individually and collectively, we support our students and faculty during this difficult and unprecedented time, particularly those with friends, families, and loved ones in the affected regions. We have both Ukrainian and Russian students on our campuses. Some of our students were still abroad in Ukraine and Russia at the start of the war and efforts were made to mobilize them safely out of the affected countries.
One of our college students is currently in Ukraine with her family. What she (Diana Chipak, Bennington College student) would like people in Vermont to know is “…that freedom, safety, and democracy are very sacred and that here on the ground we are making our best to fight for it, and we need your support from wherever you are to help us get there.”
The strength and resiliency of the Ukrainians is an inspiration to people across the globe. We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the importance of democracy.
Laura Walker, President, Bennington College
Michelle Ollie, President, Center for Cartoon Studies
David Finney, President, Champlain College
Dan Hocoy, President, Goddard College
Peter Eden, President. Landmark College
Laurie Patton, President, Middlebury College
Mark Anarumo, President, Norwich University
Lorraine Sterritt, President, Saint Michael’s College
Sophia Howlett, President, SIT Graduate Institute
Lori Collins-Hall, Interim President, Sterling College
Beth McCormack, Interim President and Dean, Vermont Law School
Leslie Ward, President, Vermont College of Fine Arts