The I-House Connection
May 2019

News About The I-House Café Transition

The I-House Café, which has been run by an outside vendor for the last decade, will cease its current operations effective May 31, 2019. The vendor notified us recently that they would be ending their contract early. The Café has been an important part of the I-House experience since inception, and has had many different incarnations: initially envisioned as an "international bazaar," it has served as a soda fountain; as a coffee shop; as a fine dining establishment; as an upscale café; and recently as more of a study hall with food service. Senior I-House management with the support of the Board of Directors are working through this transition period to repurpose this important space for current and future generations of I-House residents.  If you would like to share your favorite memories of special Café experiences throughout its many different forms, please contact us at or (510) 642-4128.

I-House Cafe


The International House 2019 Gala

The International House 31st Annual Celebration and Awards Gala, held on May 9th, was truly an inspiring evening of laughter, memories, and recognition. After an impressive 30 years of public service, Baroness Oona King returned to I-House to be honored as I-House Alumna of the Year 2019. UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and I-House Executive Director Hans Giesecke made the award in recognition of her work as a member of the British Parliament, her advocacy for human rights, and her visionary leadership as the Director of Diversity Strategy at Google.

Baroness King lived at I-House during the 1988-89 academic year, which she described at the Gala as the “best year of my life." She recalled working in the events department and enjoyed many parties held at I-House with friends from around the world.

Below are just a few highlights of the evening captured by photographer and I-House alum Ryan Gourley.

I-House Resident Hosts with Hans Giesecke greet guests

I-House Resident Hosts with Executive Director Hans Giesecke welcomed guests at the red carpet entrance. More than half are I-House scholarship or fellowship recipients who have chosen to give back to I-House by serving as ambassadors for this festive evening.

Guests enjoyed the reception in the Great Hall

Guests enjoyed the festive reception in the Great Hall.
From left: Current resident David Bauer (Serbia), Candy and Peter Robertson, new I-House Board member James Lichau, and Sasha Grigorchik

Resident Pierre-Elie Belouard from France performs

I-House resident Pierre-Elie Belouard from France played C Sharp Minor (Op. 3 No. 2) by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

I-House resident Jan Xu from Sweden performs

I-House resident Jan Xu from Sweden performed "Man Must Dance" by Johnossi, one of his favorite Swedish bands. He also sang the song "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" by Carla Bruni.

Baroness Oona King  graciously received the I-House Alumna of the Year 2019 award, presented by Chancellor Carol Christ and Hans Giesecke.

Baroness Oona King graciously received the I-House Alumna of the Year 2019 award, presented by Chancellor Carol Christ and Hans Giesecke.

Oona King with Jason Patent

During the Q & A with Jason Patent, Director of the Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership, King spoke about her career in politics and tech. She implored students to find their spheres of influence and make themselves useful to get into positions of leadership.

I-House Band

The I-House band performed a "Reggaeton Medley" in Spanish.
From left: Current residents Renata Carreiro Avila, Maria Otero, Juan Antonio Perez Lopez, and I-House Alumnus Alex Mendoza

You can find more Gala 2019 photos on the International House Facebook page.

We are grateful for the support from this year's Gala sponsors:

Premier Sponsor

Table Sponsors
Jamy Faulhaber
Plant Construction

Table Hosts
Jai Singh
Peerless Coffee
Eugene Yano

Wine Sponsor
Narsai David

Our Friends
Curtis Lecce Chong
Financial Administrative Support Services
Christina and Howard Janssen
Jane Katsura
Sysco San Francisco
Robert and Sheryl Wong

It was a remarkable evening to honor our mission of fostering intercultural respect, international understanding, lifelong friendships, and leadership skills to promote a more peaceful world. We look forward to welcoming alumni and friends to next year's Gala!

Calling All Alumni!

It is our goal to celebrate the lives and achievements of our alumni and the contributions they have made and continue to make in the world. Please help us to keep you informed of upcoming regional events, update our records to help you reconnect with old friends and locate lost alumni, and to share recent I-House news with you. If you have moved, changed email or mailing addresses, or want to give us an exciting update, please let us know by filling out this brief contact update form.

By sharing this webpage with your I-House friends, you are helping to extend our reach and to keep the I-House connection alive!

As always, we welcome your news at


Stay in Touch

The I-House Development, Alumni Relations & Communications Team looks forward to welcoming you back to I-House. If you’re in the area, please let us know!

Best regards from Berkeley,

I-House Development, Alumni Relations & Communications Team


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