College Convenes Panel on Invasion of Ukraine

As much of the world asked, “what can we do?” in response to the deadly Russian invasion of Ukraine, a panel of Principia College faculty and staff members quickly mobilized to do what they do best in such circumstances: teach. Students and Principia College community members packed Wanamaker Hall February 28, for an hour-and-a-half panel discussion titled “Invasion of Ukraine: What Does it Mean?”

College President John Williams (C’76) hosted a panel of five professors and one Latvian staff member to provide a wide range of historical, economic, media, personal, spiritual, and political perspectives on the situation in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and Russia. The Principia community tuned in to the discussion from 17 countries around the world with 1,153 virtual attendees joining the 125-person live audience.

“I wanted to inform myself,” said then-sophomore Angie Whitmore, who took a break from her studies to attend the panel discussion. “The main thing I got out of this is the need to pray for the people in Ukraine and see the situation without judging.”

The Ukraine event came about after Monitor Night Live, an annual Principia College presentation with the editor and staff writers from the Pulitzer-prize-winning newspaper The Christian Science Monitor (see news item p. 9). After that event, “it was apparent that there was a need and thus the panel/ program was constructed over the weekend,” said Heather Holmes, who helped organize both events.

While there are no specific courses in Ukrainian politics and history at Principia, each member of the panel brought a unique lens to the rapidly developing invasion and its global ramifications.