Tuesday, June 25th, 2024
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Millersville a ‘Refuge’ for Refugees

Millersville became the first University in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to sign on.

In keeping with Millersville University’s core values of public mission, inclusion and compassion, president Daniel A. Wubah signed an agreement with Every Campus A Refuge to make the University a partner that provides housing and resettlement services to refugee families with assistance from Church World Services Lancaster 

ECAR’s mission is to mobilize colleges and universities to host refugees on campus grounds and support their successful integration. Millersville became the first University in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to sign on. Presently, the University is hosting one refugee family on campus with plans to house more. CWS Lancaster provides direct support to the family with housing and living assistance.  

“Millersville University is honored to have been selected to be a formally recognized ECAR chapter and to host a family on campus,” says Dr. Gail Gasparich, provost at the University. Students, faculty and staff pitched in to welcome the new campus residents. Refugees and Immigrants Devoted To Growth and Excellence, a student organization, picked the family up from the airport, helped to set up the house and hosted a drive to help collect items for the newcomers.  

“I am thrilled that Millersville University joined the ECAR network,” says Dr. Diya Abdo, founder and director of Every Campus A Refuge. “I am deeply moved by the profound commitment to community and hospitality I have seen in everyone at Millersville – students, faculty, staff and administration – and to Church World Service Lancaster whose staff are transforming the landscape of refugee resettlement in Lancaster County and beyond.” Abdo says she hopes that other institutions in PASSHE will quickly follow suit. “We are hopeful that other institutions will participate in this innovative community engagement model that changes lives.” 

“CWS Lancaster has been honored to work with the Millersville campus community this year in welcoming a family to peace and safety,” said Ramon Escudero, Associate Director for Welcome at CWS Lancaster. “We know the family, and future ECAR families, are grateful for the friendship and connections the campus is providing. The ECAR model is a powerful opportunity for higher education institutions to maximize community resources in support of life-saving resettlement.” 

EVERY CAMPUS A REFUGE and ECAR are service marks owned by Every Campus A Refuge, a North Carolina non-profit corporation, and are used under license.  

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