At the faculty's request, the trustees approved a plan for inviting refugee scholars to the college. From 1939 to 1943 20 scholars took part in this program.  By 1940, 11 noted émigré scholars were or had been regular members of the faculty, including Moritz and Elisabeth Geiger, Boris Karpov, Alfred Salmony, Richard Krautheimer, Ernst Krenek, Guido Ferrando and Adolf Katzenellenbogen.

The students also raised money to bring refugee students to Vassar for the coming year.