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Hampton University opens its doors to Ukraine students

Hampton University Campus. Photo by Hampton University Flickr

HAMPTON, VA — Last month, Hampton University announced that they would assist students affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a press release, the local Historical Black College/University (HBCU) stated, “In a humanitarian effort to help those college students and families affected by the current conflict in Ukraine, Hampton President Dr. William R. Harvey announced that it will invite 50-100 Ukrainian and international college students presently studying in Ukraine to continue their education on HU’s campus this summer.”

In addition, Hampton will invite the selected students in the program to continue their education for the Fall ’22 term.

Hampton’s Ukrainian Initiative Chair Margaret Dismond Martin said that this is not Hampton’s first time lending a helping hand, referring to the “Hampton legacy.” The university provided similar agreements to students affected by Hurricane Dorian at the University of the Bahamas and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

However, Martin added that the Ukraine initiative is different from the rest. The initiative is helping students who are fighting to save their lives while completing their education, according to Hampton.

President Harvey said in an official press release that Ukraine students who wish to stay at Hampton after the summer will have the option of enrolling at the university’s regular rate.

Martin highlighted the support throughout the Hampton Roads area from alumni and community residents stating that although Hampton was not looking for donations, the university received donations from residents who applauded the efforts to assist students in need.

Not everyone was pleased by the news, as many students took to social media to express their “hurt and frustration” with the announcement stating, “I attend @_HamptonU now, and I recently took out a $10,500 loan to pay my remaining balance. I am beyond livid about what they are doing.” Another user wrote, “I am in the process of sending an email to the president and seeking legal options. I could use that money, and other students like me.”

Despite the backlash Hampton received from the community and students, Martin said the initiative aims to help those who are suffering beyond what the media can report.

“When seeing someone suffer there is no such thing as too much help,” she said. “Hampton wants to help in the way we can, which is the higher education.”

The university directed the students who are in need of financial support to contact the financial aid office to receive any information for the upcoming semester as separate funds will be used to assist Ukraine students this summer.

The university directed the students who are in need of financial support to contact the financial aid office to receive any information for the upcoming semester as separate funds will be used to assist Ukraine students this summer.

Hampton’s goal is to serve as many students as possible. However, it recognized that some students will be turned away due to some programs’ availability, such as medical school courses.

Martin said that Tougaloo College and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have contacted Hampton to determine what kind of support they could offer.

Hampton also hopes that “other brother and sister HBCUs will follow in their footsteps.”

To learn more about Hampton University’s Ukrainian Initiative, please visit hu.edu for more information.

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