President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles

Subject: A message about Ukraine

February 22, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, an act of war against a democratically-elected government, is horrifying. Like you, I read the news and watch images from the region with disbelief and dismay.

The majority of Reed’s community was born well after the end of the long cold war that divided Europe in the decades after WWII.  All of us, however, will feel impacts from these recent events in eastern Europe.  Some of us have family and friends in these areas facing imminent danger and permanent disruptions to their communities.  Many of us will need to alter future plans to factor in this turn against peace.

Reed was founded to strengthen democratic institutions, with a belief that training and practice in rigorous scholarship stands as a foundation of freedom.  Particularly in recent years, our community has embraced the importance of diversity, as we draw students, faculty and staff from regions across the world.  Even as we condemn the actions of a Russian dictator, we must support all our community members from these areas, remembering that all of us at the college are committed to a shared educational and democratic enterprise.

For those who need support navigating the impact of these events, please contact the Reed Care Team, which is part of the Division of Student Life. If you are experiencing high levels of stress resulting from this news, I remind you of the resources we have available to all members of the community. Counseling resources for students may be found here. Help for faculty and staff is available through our Employee Assistance Program.

I look forward to seeing you on campus and to renewing our work together, one of the bulwarks of a free world.

With care,



Audrey Bilger