The Gracias Family Foundation will provide immediate aid to current and future Georgetown undergraduates and School of Foreign Service graduate students.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2022
WASHINGTON — Georgetown 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 provide immediate scholarships and financial assistance to current and future Georgetown University students affected by the war in Ukraine.
The newly-created Gracias Family Sunflower Current Use Scholarship Fund will maximize support for students who reside in or have been displaced by the crisis in Ukraine, and crucially get it into their hands as quickly as possible. Focused on students who are current or recently displaced residents of Ukraine, it will provide scholarships to undergraduate students in all Georgetown schools who demonstrate financial need, as well as merit-based scholarships to graduate students in the School of Foreign Service (SFS). In addition to covering tuition and fees, the gift provides these students with emergency funds to cover course materials, travel, health insurance, room and board, living expenses, and visa expenses.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Gracias family reached out to SFS Dean Joel Hellman to find out how they could help students directly impacted by the war.
“It’s critical to provide these young adults with stability, unwavering support, and hope for opportunities during this devastating crisis,” Sabrina Gracias said. “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.”
The Gracias Family Sunflower Current Use Scholarship Fund will allow SFS – which was created in direct response to the First World War – to continue its founding mission of understanding conflict and working to prevent it in the future.
“We need students who comprehend the devastating impacts of war. They have a better understanding of how to help communities and nations respond to the wounds that war generates for individual families and communities,” Hellman said. “They are even more motivated to think about innovative and creative solutions because they have seen the worst effects of that war.”
As a double graduate of the School of Foreign Service, Antonio Gracias says that Georgetown’s commitment to people for others shaped his worldview.
“SFS gave me the perspective that while history may seem like the current of a river, it is in fact the sum of the collective actions of individuals who chose to try to help,” he said. “No matter the size of the global problem, individual choices matter. It is our hope that the choice our family makes to help students from Ukraine will have long-term effects.”
Georgetown President John J. DeGioia echoed the importance of assisting these current and future students affected by the war.
“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,” President DeGioia said. “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.”
This announcement follows on the heels of the efforts of SFS faculty and staff last year to bring at-risk Afghans into the SFS community, specifically into Master’s programs and onto the SFS staff, and SFS support for scholars at risk from Syria and the wider Middle East in previous years.
For more information, please contact Marie Harf at Marie.Harf@georgetown.edu.
The Walsh School of Foreign Service, founded in 1919, is a premier school of international affairs. SFS provides a rigorous education grounded in both theory and practice while instilling the Jesuit value of service.