Georgetown alumni give $5M to aid students impacted by the war in Ukraine

Alumni leaders Antonio Gracias (SFS’92, MSFS’93) and Sabrina Kuhl Gracias (B’93) have made a $5 million gift through the Gracias Family Foundation to support the academic and personal financial needs of Georgetown students affected by the war in Ukraine.

“It’s critical to provide these young adults with stability, unwavering support, and hope for opportunities during this devastating crisis,” Sabrina Gracias says. “Aligning with Georgetown’s core value of service to others, we wanted Georgetown to be at the forefront of helping educate and offering tremendous support to both current and future students from Ukraine who are directly impacted by this crisis.”

“We could not be more grateful to Antonio and Sabrina Gracias for their extraordinary generosity and for the support that this gift will provide our students whose lives and families are being profoundly impacted by the war in Ukraine,” Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia says. “This Fund will help to ensure that the transformative possibilities of education remain accessible to these students even as they face these difficult circumstances in their home country.”

Meeting urgent and long-term needs

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Gracias family reached out to Joel Hellman, dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, to find out how they could help provide stability to students directly affected by the war.

The Gracias Family Sunflower Current Use Scholarship Fund aims to maximize support for students who reside in Ukraine or have been displaced by the crisis in their country—and to get that support into students’ hands as quickly as possible. The fund provides scholarships to undergraduate students in all schools who demonstrate financial need, as well as merit-based scholarships to graduate students enrolled in the School of Foreign Service.

In addition to covering tuition and fees, the gift provides students with emergency funds to cover course materials, travel, health insurance, room and board, living expenses, and visa expenses.

Related: US colleges, advocacy groups working to support refugee students >

“In the short term, we hope the opportunity to be at Georgetown provides current and future students with a close-knit community of friends and mentors to help ease the effects of the crisis, dislocation, and trauma from their war-torn home,” Sabrina Gracias says. “We know that Georgetown will help them form a new sense of family and be a pillar of emotional support. The ability for them to continue their education will be profoundly meaningful—both personally and professionally.”

The donors intend for their investment to meet the needs of the moment but hope that their gift will inspire others to support students affected by the crisis for years to come.

“What I find most inspiring about these alumni is that they saw a crisis in the world, wanted to make a difference, and looked to Georgetown to make that difference,” says Joel Hellman, dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Read more about this gift and how it aligns with Georgetown’s core value of service to others.

Topics in this story

Next Up

Gates Foundation provides grants to early college, dual enrollment programs

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a new effort to help more students earn college credit before they graduate from high school.