I-House Connection

International House to honor Wendy Schmidt & Ashok Gadgil as Alumni of the Year


Contact: Shanti Corrigan,
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
International House, Berkeley
2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel: (510) 642-4128

Berkeley, CA—International House at UC Berkeley—one of the largest multi-national residential and programming cultural centers in the world—will honor philanthropist Wendy Schmidt and inventor Dr. Ashok Gadgil as Alumni of the Year 2014 at a gala celebration Thursday, April 10th, in its historic east bay facility.

Wendy Schmidt, President and Co-Founder of The Schmidt Family Foundation and The Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), earned her masters degree in journalism while residing at International House in the late 1970s. It was there she met her husband Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google. As a globally-minded philanthropist, Wendy oversees several strategic initiatives that advance the wiser use of our shared natural resources on land and in our oceans and seeks to resolve related human rights issues worldwide. "The connections I sought as a student living among a global community at International House have been expanded in countless ways as my work has brought a deeper understanding of humanity's interconnectedness and increased my resolve to improve how we treat the earth and each other," says Mrs. Schmidt. "It's an honor to receive this recognition from International House and UC Berkeley, especially in conjunction with Dr. Gadgil."

Dr. Ashok Gadgil also lived at "I-House" in the 1970s and is a world-renowned inventor whose work bridges the wiser use of energy and public health fundamentals such as a water disinfection system that uses UV light, and a less-polluting, more efficient cooking stove created to aid millions of refugees in Darfur. Among the many national and international accolades his work has garnered are the World Technology Award for Energy, European Inventor Award, and Zayed Future Energy Prize. Dr. Gadgil is a UC Berkeley professor in civil and environmental engineering and a physicist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and says "Living at International House is a kind of experimental laboratory where over lunch or doing laundry new relationships and new ideas can spark at any moment. It is a special place with its own remarkable energy. Ms. Schmidt and I were both lucky to have benefitted from these experiences and no doubt we share the values of International House in pursuing our work in the world today."

The Gala is International House's annual fundraising event; proceeds of which benefit room and board scholarships among its resident population of nearly 600 students from some 70 countries and an array of services and activities in service to its mission. Founded in 1930, I-House fosters intercultural respect, understanding, lifelong friendships and leadership skills to promote a more tolerant and peaceful world. In its 84 year history more than 80,000 students and scholars from 150 countries, including the U.S., have called International House home. The Gala is hosted by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks together with the International House Board of Directors which he chairs. For more information on I-House and the April 10th Gala visit ihouse.berkeley.edu.

For more information, visit: http://ihouse.berkeley.edu/gala or contact I-House Development Office at (510) 642-4128.

Gala Honors Schmidt & Gadgil

Additional media about honorees:

Wendy Schmidt directs will, wealth to preserving environment

Google Earth: Wendy Schmidt's Planet-Forward Philanthropy

UC Berkeley professor inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Indian Company Licenses Berkeley Lab Invention for Arsenic-free Water

Dr. Ashok Gadgil - 2012 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation Winner

Gala Details:

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
6:00 pm Music & Mingling
Dinner & Program to follow

Individual Tickets: $275 / Young Diplomats (35 or under): $150 Table and event sponsorships: $3,750 - $25k

Visit ihouse.berkeley.edu/gala or call (510) 642-4128

The 2014 Gala Raffle

Grand Prize: A week in Paris + $3,000!

Raffle Ticket Prices:
$100 each / $180 for 2 / $400 for 5

Visit ihouse.berkeley.edu/raffle for more prizes and details.


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Founded in 1930, International House is a self-supporting non-profit residential and program center at the University of California at Berkeley, dedicated to advancing a world of greater intercultural understanding and peace.  “I-House” is  home to 585 UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students from the U.S. and 70+ countries, and annually offers over 100 public-access programs including lectures, films, festivals, classes and trainings for residents, the campus, local community, and an online global community that spans 40,000 living alumni worldwide.

International House at UC Berkeley
2299 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-2320 USA
Development & Alumni Relations
(510) 642-4128 | ihalumni@berkeley.edu