Institutional News

A Statement in Solidarity with Ukraine

The Association of Vermont Independent Colleges (AVIC) has released a statement in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. 

Image of Ukrainian flag

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