Gilloon Bequest Supports Scholarships


Virginia Gilloon

International House was honored to receive a recent bequest from the estate of Virginia Anna Gilloon. Her generous contribution valued at more than $40,000 will be devoted to resident scholarships for students with financial need.

Born in New York in 1910, Ms. Gilloon was among the first residents of International House Berkeley, having resided here in 1931 as a student pursuing both her undergraduate degree and later her Master of Arts in Political Science. Remarkably, she returned twice to I-House as a summer session resident in both 1942 and 1955. Her brother, Frank, also resided at the House in the spring of 1940 while pursuing his Ph.D., reflecting that both International House and a love of learning were popular in the Gilloon family.

In keeping with her devotion to learning, Ms. Gilloon dedicated much of her life to serving as an educator and counselor at Mission Bay High School in Pacific Beach near San Diego, California. A 1948 charter member of the San Diego Sierra Club, Ms. Gilloon is described by her niece, Mary Lee Maguire, as "an early environmentalist and a quiet and private person who lived lightly on the earth." She adds that Ms. Gilloon "always thought highly of International House" and maintained longstanding international friendships with exchange students including several she met while volunteering with the exchange program at UC San Diego.

A letter of recommendation from Ms. Gilloon's original 1931 I-House application also describes her as having "a keen and sensitive appreciation for beautiful and worthwhile things and a delightful capacity for discovering worthwhile enterprises." As someone who dedicated her life to supporting student learning, it is fitting that Ms. Gilloon's bequest will aid future I-House residents in gaining the rich inter-cultural knowledge that she so clearly possessed and valued. Her gift will help initiate the overall endowment, pending Board approval.


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