Mount Launches Initiative to Create Refugee Scholarships

Heeds Pope’s Call to Address Migrant Crisis

Riverdale, N.Y. – March 10, 2017 – During the annual International Forum on Migration and Peace recently held in Rome, Mount President Charles L. Flynn, Jr. promised to pursue an initiative among Catholic colleges and universities to fulfill Pope Francis’s call to protect migrants—including refugees.

The Mount is creating the Sisters of Charity-College of Mount Saint Vincent Refugee Scholarship, which will provide refugees full tuition, room, and board. Additionally, with the support of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), the Mount is developing a program to create educational access for refugees at Catholic colleges and universities across the nation. The Mount will also seek to create a registry of displaced scholars and academics, which can be used by all ACCU member institutions to facilitate potential faculty appointments. 

“All Catholic colleges are committed to the dignity and worth of every human person,” President Flynn said. “Through scholarship assistance, we can demonstrate our commitment to equality and opportunity.”

President Flynn’s announcement reflected the forum’s theme this year: “Integration and Development: From Reaction to Action.” Dr. Flynn joined 250 leaders worldwide, including representatives from the United Nations, the education sector, national and local governments, and international charities and nonprofits, to discuss the complex, global issue of migration.  For the wide array of Catholic entities present, the forum sought to create a concert of understanding and effort to serve migrants.

In his forum address on February 21, Pope Francis urged attendees of the “moral imperative” to protect migrants. “We are speaking about millions of migrant workers, male and female…of those exiled and seeking asylum, and of those who are victims of trafficking,” he said. “Defending their inalienable rights, ensuring their fundamental freedoms, and respecting their dignity are duties from which no one can be exempted.”

The new scholarship, President Flynn said, “should be a symbol of [Catholic colleges’] shared mission. They can be another beacon of light, one more ray of hope for the human spirit.”