Siena Heights University will join more than fifteen colleges and universities in the United States by conferring on Volodymyr Zelenskyy an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his leadership, courage, sense of justice and willingness to put his life in harm’s way to defend Ukraine’s freedom.

Since the Russian invasion on February 24, thousands of Ukrainians have died and more than 4 million have fled the country. Families are separated and their future is very uncertain. Russian forces have targeted schools, maternity hospitals, residential areas, churches, civil bomb shelters and humanitarian corridors.

“The suffering, anguish, death and separation that the people of Ukraine have experienced is unconscionable,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. “Through all of this, Zelenskyy has resolutely defended his country and forged forward to preserve his nation and all that it stands for. His heart-felt compassion and unwavering courage are not witnessed too often in our world today.”

Many clashes with Russia have taken place over eight years beginning in 2014 particularly in the eastern area of Ukraine. Zelenskyy was elected as the president of Ukraine in 2019 to advance the nation’s growth as a democracy, despite Russian opposition since Ukraine gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Siena Heights will bestow on Volodymyr Zelenskyy the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during commencement ceremonies on May 7–8, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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