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Donations being accepted to help WVU international students affected by war in Ukraine

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The Morgantown Ukrainian Community holds a candlelight vigil on the steps of Woodburn Circle, March 7, 2022. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger)

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Comfort comes in many forms during a crisis. Some are easy to see, others happen quietly but with the urgency that emergencies demand.

A two-hour long phone call to connect a Ukrainian student with the right support, right now. Offering reassurance to a faculty member with family in a war-torn part of the world. A calling to heal the sick, now a medical mission spurred by shared grief and outrage.

In the days since the war in Ukraine began, West Virginia University has responded to help those in need. Currently, there are eight undergraduate students and one exchange student from Ukraine and 10 Russian students, including two undergrads and eight graduate students, attending WVU.

“One student from Ukraine was set to return in May, and is simply unable to return home. His borders are closed, and his home in Kyiv is completely inaccessible,” Hank Oliver, with WVU’s Office of Global Affairs, said. “He, and our other Ukrainian students, are facing incredible uncertainty. For all of our other Ukrainian students, we’re primarily concerned about their ability to rely on funds from home, and we’re working to help them with summer housing and other immediate needs.”

Oliver said Russian students are completely cut off from their families financially, and any debit or credit card tied to a Russian bank is no longer functioning.

Supporters of WVU interested in helping international students affected by the invasion of Ukraine can contribute to existing student assistance funds at the WVU Foundation

B.J. Davisson, executive vice president and chief development officer with the WVU Foundation, said the Barbara Alvis International Student Emergency Fund and the Kenneth and Carolyn Gray Student Emergency Fund are available to help students experiencing a wide range of crises, including the current invasion of Ukraine.

“We’ve had a few donors inquire how they might be able to help these students,” Davisson said. “We want people to know that we do have existing funds set up to assist our students when emergencies and unforeseen circumstances arise.”

To donate to either of the funds mentioned above, visit  

Make sure to designate the gift to one of the funds mentioned and indicate in the comment section that the gift is for Ukrainian war student assistance.

“Any support we receive can be directly used to help these students, as we think this will likely be on ongoing issue,” Oliver said.

Aid also extends beyond financial assistance. The emotional cost of conflict can weigh heavily on students and faculty, and the Carruth Center and Faculty and Staff Assistance Program stand ready to help.

Additional support is also being provided to help Ukrainian students navigate challenges with their student visas and explore possibilities of Temporary Protected Status. WVU’s Immigration Law Clinic provides services for students facing immigration challenges, helping with situations stemming from global crises and other immigration needs.

In addition to student-led vigils and individual fundraising efforts, the University Police Department donated protective vests as part of a multi-state effort to help support Ukraine against Russian attack.

And a supply drive effort is underway at Health Sciences to help Ukrainian hospitals overwhelmed with hundreds of trauma casualties.

The Office of Global Affairs, Provost Office and others across the University continue to work one-on-one with students and faculty facing a variety of challenges to provide the support they need.


bn/ak/ho 3/22/22

Bill Nevin
Associate Vice President, Communications
WVU Foundation


Hank Oliver
Director of Global Advancement at WVU
Office of Global Affairs

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